Choking a Serious Threat to Illinois Nursing Home Patients

122815(3)Many residents in Illinois nursing homes require assistance with their daily tasks and cannot function without help. This may include bathing, getting dressed, ambulating, taking medication, using the restroom, and eating. In fact, the need for this type of care is often one of the driving factors that lead family members to place a loved one in a nursing home or other long term care facility – while the needs associated with any illnesses or injuries may be minor, the work that must go into the other, day-to-day tasks can be so great that few families can manage the care without assistance.

In Illinois, state and federal laws require facilities to provide a certain level of care to residents and failing to do so may constitute nursing home abuse or neglect. But when it comes to the care provided to a particular resident, it can be difficult to determine whether that level of care is met or exceeded. Often, incidents may appear to be accidents or may seem like there was no intent behind them but these may still trigger legal liability on the part of a nursing home, its employees, and its directors.

One of the most common causes for death in a nursing home setting is choking or suffocation related to a choking incident. It may be caused when a resident attempts to eat but is unable to do so due to illness or physical condition. Some patients, like those with tumors or swelling along their esophagus or who have had strokes affecting their digestive tracts, may be unable to swallow solid food or food of a particular size. Ignoring the needs of these patients and providing them with an inappropriate type or size of food may lead to choking. Yet others in a nursing home setting may suffer from mental conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia which can rob them of the knowledge and skill necessary to eat properly, increasing the odds that these individuals will choke.

The needs of any patient must be met and if that patient has difficultly eating, she may need to be supervised at all times with food. Failing to do so may have tragic consequences that can result in a choking injury which can cause injuries, brain damage, or even death.

If your loved one suffered from a choking incident in an Illinois nursing home, make sure you know whether neglect or abuse was the cause of the incident and whether your loved one is entitled to financial compensation for her suffering.

The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. is comprised exclusively of personal injury attorneys who fight for the rights of victims. We never represent nursing homes or insurance companies and we only represent those who have been hurt and their family members so if you contact us, you know our interests will always be on your side. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to all those who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we have an attorney available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call.

When an injury takes place, it is always wise to get a proper understanding of what happened and why it happened. If our team can help you with that, call us today and let us get to work on your behalf.

Prior Blog Entry:

Some Illinois Nursing Home Residents at Risk for Sexual Abuse, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published December 14, 2015.