Choking Injuries In Nursing Homes
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For many people living in a nursing home facility, swallowing food may prove difficult. This means that nursing homes have to monitor or supervise the food intake of its patients. The risk of choking, possibly even death, increase when nursing homes fail to enforce diet restrictions or do not pay close attention to those patients who are susceptible to problems with choking.
Nursing home residents often have medical problems or take medications that make it difficult to properly chew or swallow food. Due to this, many are at high risk for choking.
The reason that many elderly and disabled patients have problems swallowing is varied. There 50 pairs of muscles and nerves involved when it comes to swallowing food, there are many conditions that may influence whether that patient is able to swallow or not. Some of the most common disorders include:
Neurological disorders – Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis may all influence the ability to swallow.
Neurological damage – If a person has suffered spinal or brain injuries or has suffered a stroke, it may affect his or her ability to swallow.
Cancer – There are types of cancer that may affect the patient’s ability to swallow. The radiation treatment may also play a role here.
Alzheimer’s disease – Alzheimer’s patients in the later stages of the disease may find it difficult to swallow and eat.
Aging – Considering it takes 50 pairs of muscles and nerves to swallow, it is not surprising that wear and tear on the throat muscles can make it difficult to swallow for older patients.
Choking, by depriving oxygen to the brain, can cause brain damage, and even death. While such an injury may appear to be accidental, in some instances choking is a result of nursing home neglect. When this is the case, it is important that nursing homes are held accountable for their fatal mistakes.
If the choking occurred because the patient was fed the wrong food or was not properly monitored, it is the fault of the nursing home, and your loved one may have a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
It is standard for those patients who have trouble swallowing in a nursing home setting to be examined by a physician in order to determine the severity of the problem. From there the physician can make recommendations on what the patient should and should not eat and in which forms. It is important that this advice be placed on the nursing home patient’s chart; these special needs need to be known to all caregivers who interact with the patient. When not monitored closely or if the patient receives medication or food that goes against what the physician recommended, it may lead to choking and asphyxiation.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
If you believe that a loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse you should take action quickly and contact us online or call us at 866-404-3037 to set up a free consultation. We are available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.