Nursing Home Cited for Neglect After Elderly Man's Choking Death

A nursing home is being blamed after one of its residents died from choking on food while left to eat without proper supervision. The 90-year-old man was eating in his room with his wife, when he began turning blue. According to a department of health investigation report, he had taken a few bites, began to choke, and died.

The department of health noted that the resident was known by staff at the facility to have difficulty swallowing but was left there with only his wife by his side. Unfortunately, her memory problems prevented her from helping him with his meals or recognizing an emergency situation.

According to the investigation, a nurse's assistant brought the resident his meal on a tray and left the room, allowing for private time with family. The resident began coughing, but by the time two nurses to come into the room, the man's heart had stopped and he wasn't breathing. A nurse saw that his skin was blue and some of the fruit had been eaten, however no emergency action was taken because staff members were unsure whether the resident was choking and he had a "do not resuscitate" order. The state determined that the lack of supervision during the meal constituted neglect of the resident. For more, read the story.


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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