We reached a settlement on behalf of the estate of a nursing home resident who choked to death while being fed by a CNA.
The client had been a long term resident of the defendant nursing home due to declining health related to multiple sclerosis. One of the manifestations of multiple sclerosis is difficulty swallowing. Approximately 2 years before the choking incident which caused her death, she had a swallow assessment done by a speech therapist who made a number of specific recommendations regarding her diet and how she was to be fed. However, those recommendations were never incorporated into her care plan, and indeed, there was nothing in her care plan which specifically addressed her risk of choking.
On the day that she choked, she was being fed lunch in bed by a CNA when she reportedly “slumped over.” The 911 calls to the fire department did not mention that the resident was choking, raising a question of whether the staff timely recognized that was what was occurring. The paramedics retrieved multiple food items from her airway, indicating that she was being fed in a manner that was inconsistent with the recommendations of speech therapy.