Nursing Home Choking Hazards
You may not realize it, but our elderly loved ones can have a difficult time swallowing pills and food. To best protect residents with a high risk of choking, nursing home staff and health care professionals must be present during mealtimes and when administering medicines.
Unfortunately, not all mealtimes or rounds of medicine receive the attention they require in nursing homes across the country. As a result, our loved ones suffer, resulting in serious consequences related to choking, such as injury or death.
If your loved one has been injured or died after choking on food or pills, you may have a nursing home neglect case. Learn more about nursing home choking hazards from the experience nursing home abuse lawyers at Pope and Howard in Atlanta, Georgia. Contact us for a free consultation if you think you have a case for nursing home neglect or abuse.
Choking: A Sign of Nursing Home Neglect
If you are wondering if choking is a sign of nursing home neglect, the answer is yes.
In some cases, the nursing home may be understaffed, or the staff did not receive proper training in identifying the signs of choking or delivering the Heimlich maneuver. The staff may have also failed to make appropriate accommodations during mealtimes to minimize the risk of choking.
Another reason a nurse or nursing home staff member can be held liable for a choking incident is if a breathing tube was not maintained or properly cleaned. Nursing homes are to blame for under staffing or placing unqualified members in positions of great responsibility. When that is the case, individuals and families can hold the nursing home liable.
Common Causes of Choking in Nursing Homes
There are many causes of choking in nursing homes. One of the most common causes of choking is dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. This condition affects millions of Americans, especially in the elderly community, and can put patients in nursing home at a high risk for choking during mealtimes or when swallowing pills.
Other common causes of choking can occur as a result of disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Furthermore, choking can occur from objects in breathing tube, dementia, illnesses such as cancer, and medical conditions like acid reflux.
If a patient has any of these conditions, nursing home staff should take special precautions and tweak the patient’s diet to minimize the risk of choking. Those who have loved ones at nursing homes with these conditions should work with their providers to take steps to avoid choking.
Contact Pope and Howard About Nursing Home Negligence in Atlanta, GA
If a patient begins to choke, the individual experiences oxygen deprivation, which can lead to brain damage or even death. Nursing homes have a responsibility to keep patients safe and to minimize the risks of choking.
Pope and Howard wants to hold nursing homes liable for their neglect. If your loved one had a choking incident or was the victim of another form of abuse or neglect, contact the experienced team at Pope and Howard, a top personal injury law firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. As experienced nursing home liability lawyers, we can listen to your experience and guide you through the process. Fill out our online contact form to request a consultation at our Buckhead office.