A resident choked to death at the Effingham Terrace nursing home in Effingham, Illinois after nursing home staff failed to properly assess and treat his needs. The nursing home neglect resulted in the wrongful death of the 48-year-old man.
Nursing homes are required to conduct many different assessment on every new nursing home resident. Assessments to evaluate the risk of nursing home falls as well as skin breakdowns are two examples. Residents with conditions like dementia also require an evaluation of swallow function to determine the appropriate diet.
The resident’s physician ordered a “mechanical soft diet” after the resident was admitted to the nursing home following a surgery that resulted in the removal of all of the resident’s teeth. Somehow, the Effingham Terrace orders stated that the resident was to be given a regular diet.
The nursing home’s decision to give a regular meal including pork cutlets and peas to a resident with no teeth proved ultimately fatal. The resident began choking and was taken to a hospital where he expired a short time later.
These failure predictably result in choking deaths of Illinois nursing home residents. In June, 2012 I wrote about a choking death at the Ridge Terrace Nursing Home in Freeport, Illinois. In November, we reported on the choking death of a Norwood Crossing resident here in Chicago. An epidemic of chronically understaffed nursing homes makes choking deaths more likely.
Sadly, many nursing home neglect cases result in a wrongful death lawsuit. The egregious nature of many nursing home neglect cases makes survival highly unlikely.