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Can a Nursing Home Be Liable for a Resident’s Choking Incident?

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Chicago nursing home choking incident Lawyer

According to recent statistics, choking is one of the leading causes of unintentional death among the elderly, with more than half of all choking deaths occurring among those over the age of 74. There are many risk factors associated with choking death as a person gets older, including decreased salivation and conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. However, with appropriate care and supervision, many choking incidents are preventable.

 

Unfortunately, some nursing home residents are not provided with the care they need, and they may suffer a fatal choking injury as a result. If your loved one has lost their life due to nursing home neglect, you may be entitled to compensation from the facility.

Causes of Choking Among the Elderly

Many nursing home residents are unable to properly chew or swallow their food, perhaps because of tooth loss, salivary issues, or a neurological or muscular condition. To ensure that a resident can safely consume the nutrients they need, it is often necessary to puree their food or cut it into small pieces. A resident may also need assistance from facility staff to feed them.

 

Choking may occur when the nursing home staff has not properly followed a resident’s feeding guidelines. Residents who are left unsupervised due to insufficient staffing, especially those with dementia conditions, may also try to feed themselves without recognizing the risk of choking. When a resident lacks supervision, nursing home staff may also fail to take action that could clear a choking resident’s airway and prevent suffocation.

 

A nursing home resident could also be at risk of choking or suffocation if their feeding or breathing tube malfunctions or becomes clogged. This could happen because facility staff failed to keep the tube clean or to administer it properly, or because the staff failed to promptly respond to a situation that required immediate attention.

Choking and Nursing Home Neglect

If there is evidence that a choking incident was the result of nursing home neglect, the victim may be entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, given the high risk of fatality when an elderly person is choking, the victim him or herself is often unable to pursue this compensation. However, if your family member has been the victim of a fatal choking incident, you can recover compensation on their behalf through a wrongful death claim. A neglectful nursing home may also be liable for damages for your loved one’s funeral expenses and the loss of their companionship.

Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Neglect Attorney

At Schwartz Injury Law, we believe that all nursing home residents deserve quality care to ensure that they are safe and healthy for as long as possible. If your loved one has been harmed by nursing home neglect, we want to help you recover fair compensation. Call our Cook County nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers today at 312-535-4625 to schedule a free initial consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499941/

 

https://qctimes.com/news/local/quad-city-nursing-homes-fined-nearly-80-000-for-the-choking-death-of-a-resident/article_3b3a28b3-9161-50b3-9938-ecab5f015f05.html

 

 

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