Patients in nursing homes may be at risk for choking. If the windpipe gets blocked and a person is unable to breathe, that can lead to permanent brain damage or death in a matter of minutes.
If your loved one choked while living in a nursing home, he or she may have suffered serious harm. You and your family may be struggling to cope with the effects of the incident and trying to figure out who was responsible.
A Jacksonville choking lawyer may be able to help your family seek justice. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the nursing home to seek compensation for your relative’s medical expenses and pain and suffering. Call our office today at (800) 842-6336 to discuss your case with a member of our staff.
How Seniors Can Choke in Nursing Homes
Elderly patients may have difficulty chewing and swallowing food and suffer from dysphagia. This is when the muscles in the mouth and throat are weak, which can make it difficult or painful to swallow food and liquids, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Neurological issues, such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, a stroke, or brain damage, can also interfere with the ability to eat. Cancer of the mouth or throat can make it difficult to swallow food, and treatments for other forms of cancer can also increase the risk of choking.
Senior citizens with Alzheimer’s or dementia may not realize that they are putting too much food in their mouths at one time. They should be closely monitored at mealtimes to make sure they do not try to eat too fast and choke.
Poorly fitting dentures can make senior citizens susceptible to choking. If a resident complains of having trouble chewing, employees should take action to make sure the patient receives appropriate dental care so that he or she can eat safely.
Medications sometimes cause patients to become dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to a dry throat, which can make it difficult to swallow. Staff members should monitor fluid intake to make sure that patients who have difficulty swallowing are being given enough water and other beverages throughout the day.
Some nursing home patients rely on a breathing tube. The tube should be cleaned regularly to make sure that it functions properly. If a breathing tube gets blocked with food, it can cause the patient to choke.
Employees Have a Responsibility to Keep Residents Safe
Nursing homes have a duty to evaluate each patient’s individual needs and to provide appropriate care. For someone who has difficulty chewing and swallowing food, employees may be required to cut food into small pieces or to puree it. In some instances, a nursing home staff member must supervise a resident while eating to make sure that he or she does not try to eat too much too fast. The employee should also be prepared to intervene if the patient begins to choke.
Managers should provide employees with the training they need to meet patients’ individual needs. If a senior citizen has difficulty chewing or swallowing, anyone who works with that person should be familiar with his or her dietary plan and feeding requirements.
Nursing home workers should know what to do if a patient begins to choke. The Heimlich maneuver should be included in a standard first aid training program.
For a free legal consultation with a Jacksonville Choking Lawyer serving Jacksonville, call (800) 794-0444
Why Choking Occurs in Nursing Homes
Sometimes patients in long-term care facilities are injured because staff members make mistakes, cut corners, or forget to do important things. That may happen because of carelessness, incompetence, or understaffing.
Nursing homes often have problems with high rates of turnover due to the demanding nature of the work and the low pay. Facility managers may feel pressure to hire new employees quickly, so they have enough people on staff. They may fail to conduct thorough background checks and may hire workers who have a history of making mistakes or taking shortcuts that endangered the health and safety of patients.
Managers may also fail to provide adequate training or may not have enough employees working at any given time. That can cause staff members to feel overwhelmed and may lead to mistakes.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for legal assistance. They can help you figure out what led your loved one to choke and if it could have been prevented.
Jacksonville Jacksonville Choking Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
How a Jacksonville Choking Lawyer Can Help Your Family Seek Justice
Choking accidents can have life-threatening consequences, and they are preventable. If your loved one had difficulty chewing or swallowing, the nursing home had a duty to create and follow protocols to help him or her eat safely. If the facility failed to implement such a plan, if staff members did not receive appropriate training, or if they failed to follow the guidelines for any reason, the nursing home may be held liable for your family member’s injuries.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can review your relative’s treatment plan, the nursing home’s training procedures, and records related to your loved one’s care. If we discover that the nursing home or one of its employees acted negligently, we may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your family member’s medical bills and pain and suffering.
Click to contact our Jacksonville Choking Lawyers today
Hire a Jacksonville Choking Lawyer
If your family member choked in a nursing home, he or she may have suffered serious harm. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you hold the facility accountable. We may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek a financial award that will cover your loved one’s medical bills for care that is required due to the choking incident, as well as compensation for pain and suffering.
You do not have much time to act because of the statute of limitations, which is set out in Florida Statutes §400.0236. A personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the incident or within two years from the date when it was discovered or should have been discovered. However, the statute of repose is four years, which is the latest date you can bring your lawsuit. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to begin working on your case. Call our office today at (800) 842-6336.