Nursing home and hospice facility residents, especially those with certain medical conditions, often have difficulty properly chewing or swallowing food. Because of this, many residents are at risk of choking.
Although choking accidents can happen at any time, many choking incidents are the result of nursing home residents with specific medical conditions being fed the wrong food.
Injuries from choking may be the result of nursing home or hospice facility abuse or neglect. If this occurs, it is important that these facilities are held accountable.
What causes nursing home choking accidents?
There are many causes of choking, especially among nursing home and hospice facility patients and residents. Some of the most common causes of choking include:
- Dementia and/or Alzheimer’s Disease: Both of these conditions affect an individual’s memory, behavior, and the ability to perform daily tasks, including swallowing, eating, chewing, and drinking, among others. As a result, individuals with these conditions may eat unsafe food or have trouble swallowing even safe food, potentially resulting in choking. If a nursing home or hospice facility does not provide adequate protection for these individuals, they may be responsible for any injuries resulting from a choking incident.
- Natural aging: There are multiple muscles involved in the eating and drinking process. As we age, these muscles naturally become weaker. If an elderly nursing home or hospice resident or patient needs supervision or assistance during the eating or drinking process because of their age, and the facility does not provide these services, they may be liable for the resulting injuries and suffering.
- Other Medical Conditions and Medications: There are a variety of medical conditions and medications that can make it difficult for individuals to swallow, putting them at an increased risk for a choking accident. If the nursing home or hospice staff is aware of this, and does not ensure proper precautions are taken while the resident or patient is eating or drinking, they may be held responsible for any resulting injuries and suffering.
- Poor hiring: If a nursing or hospice facility hires an employee that neglects, abuses or otherwise intentionally harms a resident, resulting in a choking incident or other accident, they may be held liable for any injuries caused by the employee. The facility is also responsible if they fail to provide adequate employee training or supervision.
- Inadequate medical treatment: If a resident begins choking at home or hospice facility, and the staff does not provide adequate treatment for the injuries, the nursing or hospice facility may be liable for the resulting pain and injuries.
What to do if a loved one is involved in a choking accident at a nursing home?
If you, or your loved one, is involved in a choking incident at a nursing home or hospice facility, take immediate action to rectify the situation. Ensure you, or your loved one, receive proper medical treatment. Do not hesitate to remove your loved one from the facility.
Be sure to document the injuries with photographs, witness statements and medical records as applicable.
How can a nursing home abuse lawyer help?
If your loved one is involved in a choking incident at a nursing home or hospice facility, focus on getting proper medical care and finding a new nursing home or hospice facility, rather than deadlines, legal paperwork or attorneys.
Instead, let our experienced attorneys focus on taking on the nursing home or hospice facility. We have experience obtaining settlements large enough to cover temporary or lifelong costs associated with choking accidents and other nursing home or hospice facility injuries. In our most successful cases, Habush clients obtain settlements often double what unrepresented victims obtain.
The experienced nursing home abuse attorneys of Habush & Rottier are here to help you with your nursing home or hospice facility injury claim, including choking claims. To discuss the details of your situation, contact us at 800-2-HABUSH (800-242-2874) today.