Nursing Home Neglect in Resident Death After Choking
Our Michigan nursing home neglect lawyers investigate cases on behalf of the families of nursing home residents who died from choking on food or pills at the nursing home. When nursing homes fail to provide necessary care, the results can be catastrophic.
With proper precautions, these nursing home choking deaths are entirely preventable. The nursing home staff is required to perform proper assessments, therapy, food preparation, and resident observation should all be taken into consideration when preparing meals for residents. A wrongful death lawsuit can be sought when a resident dies from a choking death.
Risk Factors From Choking on Food
Many risk factors can contribute to nursing home patients choking injuries. Below are a few common reasons why residents choke on food or medication:
- History of stroke affecting swallowing and facial muscles
- Muscle weakness affecting swallowing
- Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia which can lead to choking
- Other medical conditions that affect the resident’s ability to chew and swallow food and drink or take oral pills and medication
Assessment of Choking on Food
Patient’s risk for choking or asphyxiation can properly be assessed by a nursing home’s medical team in several different ways. The medical staff should perform the following measures for residents who have a history of choking on food and residents with medical conditions that pre-dispose them to choking problems:
- An x-ray or barium swallow
- A visual examination of the esophagus (endoscopy) by a physician
- A swallowing study by a speech therapist
- Observations of the resident eating and drinking by a speech therapist or physician
Nursing homes need to take necessary precautions to prevent choking death from occurring in residents who are determined to be a risk for choking on food due to a medical condition or swallowing disorder. These precautions include a special diet, like soft foods, with food prepared in a way that would eliminate the possibility of choking, assistance with eating, and observation by a trained staff member during meals. It may also be necessary to crush medications that pose a risk of choking.
Legal Rights After a Choking Death
When a nursing home resident dies due to choking, the surviving family members can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home. Our nursing home neglect lawyers will review all of the medical records and the complete nursing home chart to determine exactly where the nursing home failed the resident and family and explain how proper care could have prevented the death. We seek compensation for the loss of the loved one for the family. Our efforts also help prevent other similar incidents from occurring at the facility at a later date.
Contact a Michigan Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
If your family member suffered from choking injuries in a Michigan nursing home, you should contact our nursing home neglect lawyers immediately to discuss your case. Call our office now at (800) 606-1717 to speak with one of our experienced Michigan nursing home neglect attorneys. We will start working on your case immediately and represent you and your family under our No Fee Promise, meaning you do not pay any legal fees until we win or settle your case.