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 →