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Woman chokes to death on peanut butter and jelly sandwich in California Convalescent Hospital

Rimrock Villa Convalescent Hospital was fined $65,000 and cited by the California Department of Health Services when an 83 year-old woman choked to death on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Monday.

The woman had continually been assessed by the home as at risk for choking. Special instructions were given to staff to take precuations to ensure the woman was fed while upright, and that she took small bites interspersed with liquids while eating. The sticky consistency of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich should have raised a red flag with the nurse who gave the woman the sandwich saying “you promised you would eat.” Moreover, according to the state report, the staff did not sit her upright or remind her to take small bites.

The woman was found ten minutes later, unresponsive, and she died from chocking shortly thereafter.

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