Nursing Home Patient Requiring Special Diet Chokes to Death on Food Left Within Reach

According to state documents, nursing home neglect is to blame for the death of a patient with severe cognitive impairments. The patient who choked to death last December suffered from dementia and a psychiatric disorder.

The patient, who required all food be pureed, wandered through a gate to a nursing station and grabbed and ingested food that had been left on a lunch tray at the nurse's station for several hours. Staff performed the Heimlich maneuver and CPR but the patient's breathing was not restored. The patient suffered an anoxic brain and died a week later. Officials from the health department noted that the resident's brain injury was the result of large amounts of food obstructing the patient's airway.

The facility was fined $1,230 in connection with the incident. The company which owns the facility has had a history of serious care issues at other company facilities as well. Last November, a patient was found dead at one location with a plastic privacy curtain twisted around their upper body and neck. The facility was fined after officials determined that the patient had a history of becoming entangled in the curtain. 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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