One of the leading problems that nursing home residents face on a daily basis is choking. Over time, they may develop conditions that make it difficult to breathe and/or swallow, increasing their chances of choking. Nursing homes are required to address this problem in multiple ways. For example, providing soft foods can reduce choking hazards. Medical treatments can also be provided to manage conditions that can lead to choking.
Regardless of the cause, nursing homes are obligated to try to prevent choking deaths. This includes being vigilant and having someone on staff who can provide CPR or other life-saving interventions as needed. Failing to offer preventative or emergency choking care can lead to injury or death. If your loved one suffered a serious injury or died from choking, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the facility to recover compensation. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 to schedule a free consultation about your case.
Causes of Choking
The muscles in the throat must be precisely timed and toned to swallow properly. According to a study published by Clinical Interventions in Aging (CIA), the swallowing mechanism changes significantly as people age. This process is known as presbyphagia. There are many causes of choking that are related to physical changes in the shape and strength of the throat muscles. As they weaken, swallowing becomes more difficult.
There are a number of medical conditions that can also weaken the muscles and prevent the accurate timing needed to swallow safely. Elderly people have a high risk of developing conditions that can interfere with swallowing as they age, especially if they already have a neurological disorder.
Some of the most common causes of choking include:
- Parkinson’s Disease: Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative disease that affects the nervous system. This condition makes it difficult to control or coordinate the muscles throughout the body, which can interfere with swallowing.
- Inappropriate food choices: Providing foods that are difficult to chew or inappropriate for someone with a swallowing disorder can lead to choking issues.
- Inability to chew: Difficulty chewing due to muscle weakness or dental problems can cause a person to swallow food that is too large. This is a common problem for people who just got their first set of dentures.
- Dry mouth: Dry mouth results from breathing through your mouth, illness, or dehydration. It reduces the amount of saliva in the mouth and throat that lubricates food and makes it easier to swallow.
- Strokes: A stroke can create permanent muscle control dysfunction, making it increasingly difficult to swallow.
- Dysphagia: This condition is an inability to coordinate the muscles to swallow. Because it takes a well-timed sequence of actions to swallow correctly, dysphagia can easily lead to choking.
There are other causes of choking that are not covered on this list, but nursing homes are required to provide care that addresses these problems. If they do not, residents could suffer serious injuries or die as a result. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn more about your legal options.
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), about one in 10 adults over the age of 60 are neglected, abused, or financially exploited—a term known as elder abuse. Unfortunately, staffing problems, low pay, mental and physical stress, and other work-related problems can push nursing home staff members into an abusive mindset when dealing with their elderly residents. One part of this is denying them the care that they need, which can lead to choking and other problems.
The same issues that cause elder abuse can also contribute to neglect. Understaffing is a major problem that stretches nursing home staff thin and prevents them from providing the care their residents need in a timely manner. This lack of care can cause staff members to overlook potential problems, such as inappropriate food choices or difficulty swallowing.
For a free legal consultation with a Choking Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Prevalence of Choking
Choking is a common problem in nursing homes and is often one of the early signs of many neurological disorders. When a resident’s muscle control begins to weaken and leads to choking, care staff and physicians should investigate the situation further. Choking can be prevented with proper care and it is not always fatal to the person who chokes. Proper intervention can not only prevent choking, but also save a life in the event that choking does occur. Many nursing facility staff members are trained in CPR and other life-saving methods that can help.
Los Angeles Choking Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Taking Legal Action
Nursing homes have a responsibility to prevent and respond to choking when it happens. If the facility fails to provide adequate care for its residents, this is a violation of the level of care they were supposed to receive. This is especially true if the patient suffers a serious injury or dies as a result.
To take legal action, you have several options. You can file a lawsuit yourself, although the legal system is complicated and developing a case can be time-consuming and complex. You also have the option of hiring a lawyer or other legal representative to help you. A Los Angeles bruises lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and collect the necessary evidence, so you can focus on helping your loved one and your family heal.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we have a team of Los Angeles choking lawyers who can file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one. We work on a contingency basis, which means we are only paid if you win your case. Contact us today at (800) 794-0444 to schedule a free consultation with our legal team.