The elderly population is more susceptible to choking accidents than any other age group. The risk of choking increases significantly for residents of nursing homes.
Although nursing homes are obligated to guarantee the security of their residents, choking accidents do happen. This article will discuss what you must know about choking incidents and the importance of nursing home neglect lawyers.
What Causes Choking Incidents In Nursing Homes?
Choking accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. In nursing homes, choking accidents are often caused by the following factors:
- Dysphagia: Dysphagia is a condition that makes it difficult for individuals to swallow food and liquids. It is prevalent among elderly individuals and increases the risk of choking accidents.
- Poorly Prepared Food: Nursing homes are responsible for providing their residents with nutritious and safe meals. However, poorly prepared food can increase the risk of choking accidents.
- Lack of Supervision: Residents of nursing homes may require assistance with eating and drinking. Lack of supervision during meals can lead to choking accidents.
- Improperly Sized Food: Food that is too large or hard to chew can cause choking accidents.
- Use of Medication: Some medications can increase the risk of choking accidents by causing dry mouth or impairing swallowing.
What Are The Consequences of Choking Incidents?
Choking accidents can have severe consequences, especially for elderly individuals. The following are some of the consequences of choking accidents:
- Death: Choking accidents can be fatal, especially if the airway is completely blocked.
- Brain Damage: Lack of oxygen can cause brain damage, leading to long-term health problems.
- Aspiration Pneumonia: Inhaling food or liquid into the lungs can lead to aspiration pneumonia, a severe lung infection.
- Anxiety and Depression: Choking accidents can cause anxiety and depression, decreasing quality of life.
Preventing Choking Accidents In Nursing Homes
Choking accidents can be prevented with proper care and attention. The responsibility to protect residents’ safety rests with nursing facilities, and they can take the following steps to prevent choking accidents:
- Assess The Risk of Choking: It is recommended that nursing homes evaluate the choking risk for every resident in their care. Those with dysphagia or other medical conditions that elevate the likelihood of choking should be given extra consideration.
- Provide Appropriate Food and Liquids: Nursing homes should provide appropriate food and liquids for each resident, considering their medical conditions and dietary needs.
- Allow Supervision During Meals: Particularly for individuals who require assistance with eating and drinking, nursing homes should make sure that residents receive the proper supervision.
- Train Staff: Nursing home staff should be trained to identify and respond to choking accidents promptly.
- Keep The Environment Safe: Nursing homes should ensure the environment is safe for residents. This includes removing potential choking hazards, such as small objects, from the resident’s room.
What to Do If A Choking Accident Occurs
If a choking accident occurs, it is essential to act quickly. The steps to take if a choking accident occurs in a nursing home include:
- Call For Help: Immediately call for help from nursing home staff or emergency services.
- Begin The Heimlich Maneuver: If you are trained in the Heimlich maneuver, begin the procedure immediately.
- Clear The Airway: If it is not entirely blocked, try to clear it by having the resident cough.
- Monitor the resident: After the choking accident, monitor the resident for any signs of distress, such as difficulty breathing or chest pain.
- Seek Medical Attention: If the resident appears fine, seek medical attention immediately. Choking accidents can have long-term consequences that may not be immediately apparent.
Getting Legal Help From A Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer
If a loved one has been the victim of a choking accident in a nursing home, seeking legal help from a nursing home negligence lawyer is crucial. A nursing home negligence lawyer can help victims, and their families understand their rights and options for seeking justice and financial compensation for the harm caused by the incident.
When a choking accident occurs, a nursing home negligence lawyer can help the victim and their family understand the legal options available. The lawyer will review the facts of the case and any evidence that may exist related to the incident. The lawyer can also advise whether the nursing home may be liable for the choking accident and any potential damages that may be available.
Choking incidents in nursing homes can have severe consequences for elderly individuals. Nursing homes must safeguard the welfare of their residents, and there are several ways they can do this without having to worry about choking events. If a choking accident occurs, acting swiftly and getting help is crucial. Also, make sure to contact a lawyer if you believe there is negligence on the nursing home’s part.
Don’t hesitate to seek legal representation if you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse or neglect. The experienced nursing home negligence lawyers at Jehl Law Group have over 65 years of experience handling cases like yours. We are committed to fighting for the rights of those mistreated in nursing homes and elder care facilities. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you seek justice!