Articles Tagged with nursing home choking

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A nursing home choking death has resulted in an $875,000 settlement recently, following allegations the nursing home failed to comply with his doctor’s diet orders, feeding the resident solid food as opposed to the mechanical soft-only food he was supposed to have. 

As noted by researchers with The University of Michigan’s School of Medicine, mechanical soft diets are recommended for people who have trouble with chewing. It generally means food is soft or cooked until tender and then blended in a blender or food processor or else is pureed. The goal is to provide a balanced diet with adequate amounts of protein and calories for people who have problems with chewing. Individuals on mechanical soft diets are often instructed to eat six smaller meals a day, rather than three larger ones.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over a recent three-year period, some 2,200 people over 65 died in choking incidents in the U.S. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and pneumonitis were more vulnerable, and choking deaths appear to be on the rise in nursing homes and health care settings.  Continue reading →

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As we age or develop certain health conditions, our dietary needs are likely to change. One of the most fundamental of these relates to the ability to safely swallow larger pieces of food.

According to Injury Facts 2015, choking is the No. 4 cause of unintentional injury deaths in 2011, right after falls, motor vehicle crashes and poisonings. Although choking is a risk for people of all ages, the number of these deaths peaked at age 84.

Although there are many items that could be cited in choking incidents (for children, it’s often toys or other basic household items), for the elderly, it most often tends to be food items. The CDC reports there are more than 460 choking deaths related to food among people over the age of 65 in a single year. Continue reading →

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A man from Delray Beach is suing a Boca Raton nursing home for negligence, alleging the staff contributed to the untimely death of his 72-year-old mother, who was staying at the facility while recuperating from pneumonia.

According to a news report from the local ABC News affiliate, plaintiff asserts his mother suffered from a condition that made it very difficult for her to eat solid foods and to swallow. While plaintiff was talking to his mother over the phone one afternoon, he heard her mumble something about “choking.” Then the line went dead.

He immediately called the nursing home staff to alert them his mother was in trouble. But no one answered the line. Fire and rescue records show there was eventually a phone call to emergency responders from the patient’s room. However, the caller hung up soon after. Dispatchers called back right away, but a front desk receptionist said she wasn’t aware there was any problem. Emergency Medical Responders decided to go anyway. When they got there, staffers weren’t taking any action, such as performance of CPR. Instead, they were “standing around” the patient’s bed. She had apparently not been breathing for approximately five minutes. Continue reading →

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