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Nursing Home Choking Death Results in Lawsuit

Nursing homes should be safe places where our loved ones receive the care they require on a daily basis. Sometimes this does not happen. Negligence at a nursing facility can be serious and in some cases can lead to death. Such an instance occurred to a man who died after choking at a nursing home in Palos Heights, IL. According to a lawsuit filed by the man’s children, the nursing home was negligent in the care of the man, who was a resident of Manor Care of Palos Heights, IL. The lawsuit states that the man choked while eating and the caregivers failed to provide supervision. The lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

Choking is a Serious Concern
Choking deaths are a concern at nursing homes and hospitals. Older individuals may have trouble chewing and swallowing food and may not have adequate motor skills to cut their food or feed themselves. As people age, the muscles in the mouth and throat can deteriorate making eating and swallowing more difficult. Dysphagia, motor problems with the pharynx and esophagus, is also a common problem in older individuals.

In this case, the lawsuit indicates that the staff should have supervised the man while he ate and further, that they failed to assist by cutting his food into smaller pieces. The man died as a result of choking. Indeed, proper supervision must be provided during meals. Workers cannot simply drop off a tray of food and allow residents to try to eat it alone, especially when they have difficulties. This case brings to light the need to train workers in care facilities and to enforce staff rules regarding care.

Illinois Nursing Home Care Act
This case is brought under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act is legislation put into place to define the rights and responsibilities of nursing home residents and care providers. Nursing homes must abide by these regulations and are required to be licensed. When a violation occurs they may be penalized. Generally, facilities must meet standards and provide a safe facility for residents. Failure to provide proper care could be considered negligence. In this case, the lawsuit claims that the nursing facility and employees were negligent in their care for the man and they are responsible for his death.

Negligent Care
It may be surprising to find that nursing home negligence and abuse is a common occurrence. Skilled nursing facilities, also called nursing homes, provide custodial care to residents. Custodial care generally includes assistance with daily activities such as bathing, toileting, transferring, and eating, to name just a few. In this situation, the man did not receive the required level of assistance which led to his choking death. When a loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect the incident must be reported. The victim or family is likely entitled to compensation for medical costs and all other damages associated with the neglectful injury. If your loved one was harmed due to negligent actions at a nursing home contact the experienced attorneys at Levin & Perconti for a consultation.

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