A resident of the Norwood Crossing nursing home here in Chicago choked to death after she was fed the wrong meal. The victim was an 88-year old woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. When she was admitted to Norwood Crossing she was placed on a soft food diet. The plan of care stated that she was “needing supervision/oversight, encouragement or cueing during meals… One bite at a time, slow pace and alternate liquids and solids.”
One of the symptoms of the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease is an inability to swallow. While that information isn’t widely known to the public, it’s common knowledge to the health care community. That’s why the Norwood Crossing plan of care stated that the victim needed constant supervision during mealtimes.
Earlier this year, the resident was eating lunch in the hallway outside of the dining room. It’s unclear why she would be eating there, but what is clear is that there was no supervision or assistance. A registered nurse found the woman choking and attempted to perform the Heimlich maneuver several times without success. Paramedics arrived and removed pieces of orange from the victim’s throat with forceps, but it was far too late to save the woman’s life.
According to the diet manual for Norwood Crossing, orange wedges should not have been included in any soft food diet. The only kinds of fruit approved for soft food diet are sections of fruit cocktail.
Together, these two acts of nursing home neglect resulted in the wrongful death of a woman in the nursing home’s care. Not only was the Norwood Crossing resident given a meal with improper food, she was also left unsupervised despite a known risk of choking.
If you have a loved one who has passed away in an Illinois nursing home, and you feel their death was a wrongful death, contact our Illinos wrongful death lawyers for a fee and confidential evaluation of your case. At my law offices we never charge a fee unless we recover a judgement on your behalf.