Problems with swallowing affect the elderly, especially those residing in nursing homes, and often lead to choking incidents. The international journal Geriatrics notes that “after falls, choking on food presents as the second highest cause of preventable death in aged care.” The National Safety Council (NSC) found that choking is the No. 4 cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S., with more than half of choking deaths occurring to seniors older than the age of 74.
Choking can occur through neglect and carelessness at a nursing home. Nursing home staff should carefully monitor and assist residents with known conditions that can impair their ability to eat and drink, such as dysphagia (trouble swallowing) or dementia.
If your loved one suffered injuries or died from choking in a nursing home, you could potentially receive compensation for any damages and injuries associated with the incident. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today and speak with a team member about how our Savannah choking lawyers can fight for compensation on your behalf.
Preventing Choking Accidents
Common choking causes for nursing home residents include:
- Dementia and other cognitive problems
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Dry mouth
- Intubation tracheostomy
- Breathing difficulties
It is the nursing home’s responsibility to try and prevent choking accidents. Nursing home staff can take simple measures to minimize any choking risks. The staff can offer a resident predominantly soft foods that can make chewing and swallowing easier. They can also help residents by cutting food into small and manageable pieces and observing at-risk residents during their meals.
Immobile residents or those suffering from any cognitive disorders may need further assistance to ensure they are safe from choking and adequately nourished. Monitoring the dental health of residents can also ensure that they can properly chew their food.
Helping to make eating and drinking safer for residents of a nursing home can also include swallowing exercises. Sometimes, merely correcting the body position can help a resident eat and drink safely and more easily.
Nursing home staff should identify those residents who are no longer able to safely eat and drink by mouth and make sure they receive adequate nutrition through a feeding tube, if necessary.
If you feel that your loved one’s nursing home has neglected their needs and they have unnecessarily suffered, for example by choking or complications from choking accidents, you have legal remedies available to you. A Savannah choking lawyer can advise you of the best course of action to take.
Nursing Home Negligence in Choking Accidents
Moving your loved one into a nursing home can be a difficult decision. You hope that the nursing home will care for your elderly relative with the respect and dignity they deserve. Most of all, when you entrust your relative to a skilled nursing facility, they should feel safe and sound at all times, receive adequate medical attention and care, and get assistance with daily tasks such as eating and drinking.
Unfortunately, some nursing homes place more emphasis on profit than the well-being of their residents, which can lead to the facility being understaffed or hiring unqualified personnel. This pursuit of profits above all else can put all residents’ health and well-being at risk, including those who suffer from problems swallowing and cannot eat safely on their own.
Residents who have swallowing difficulties or are at risk for choking due to other conditions should have a detailed care plan and adequate daily assistance to prevent or minimize any choking accidents.
If your loved one suffered a choking accident in the nursing home, they may be the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect. Nursing home residents are protected from abuse and neglect by laws such as 42 USC § 1395i-3, the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987.
You might want to speak with a Savannah choking lawyer to find out whether you have legal recourse against a nursing home. Contact the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your case for free.
For a free legal consultation with a Choking Lawyer serving Savannah, call (800) 842-6336
Complications From Choking
Choking can threaten a nursing home resident’s life. An acute choking incident typically requires emergency medical care. However, even a seemingly minor choking incident can result in serious consequences and subsequent death, especially in the elderly and frail. Other serious conditions that can result from choking accidents in the nursing home include:
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Esophageal tears
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Anxiety and depression
- An inability to take medication
Almost all these complications can be life-threatening to a senior in a nursing home. This danger reflects why it is crucially important that a nursing home always has qualified staff in adequate numbers available to prevent choking accidents.
Savannah Choking Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
Georgia Statute of Limitations
If you want legal recourse for your loved one’s injuries, be aware of the time limits set by O.C.G.A § 9-3-33. Generally, if you do not file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the day of injury or wrongful death, the court may bar you from seeking compensation.
Taking timely action can also make it easier to gather evidence and witness testimony for your case. Over time, memories can fade, and it may become more difficult to obtain evidence. A Savannah choking lawyer can advise you of your legal options and next best steps. The sooner you act, the sooner they can get started.
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If your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you could potentially receive compensation for damages such as medical bills, relocation costs, and any rehabilitation needs. You may also recover awards for physical and mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages. If your loved one died in a choking accident at a nursing home, and the nursing home is responsible, you could also recover for funeral costs, loss of consortium, and other compensation.
Nursing home negligence and abuse cases can prove complicated and challenging to pursue, but you do not have to take on a nursing home alone. A Savannah choking lawyer can help with all aspects of filing a lawsuit against a nursing home facility. They can help you gather evidence and build your case so that you can fight for justice and compensation for your loved one’s injuries.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to speak to one of our team members about how we can help you hold a nursing home responsible. The initial case review is free. Call today to get started.