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Failure to Monitor Illinois Nursing Home Residents Can Pose Fatal Choking Hazards

 Posted on June 15,2022 in Nursing Home Negligence

Plainfield nursing home negligence lawyerAs our bodies age, natural changes occur that can make everyday activities more difficult. Eating and drinking, activities most of us take for granted throughout our lives, become much more challenging for many elderly adults. For those who live in nursing homes or assisted living centers, choking hazards are particularly dangerous because staff usually have to manage the needs of several residents at once. When a nursing home is understaffed or employees are poorly trained, residents can choke and suffer serious injuries and even death. If you have a loved one who has suffered from Illinois nursing home negligence in a choking incident, read on. 

How Common are Choking Accidents in Nursing Homes? 

Choking incidents are alarmingly common in the elderly population. Over half of people who die from choking every year in the United States are older than 74, making nursing home residents especially vulnerable to this dangerous risk. There are many reasons for this, including: 

  • Reduced saliva - Saliva thins and production is reduced in elderly people, making it harder to break down food in the mouth and lubricate it as it moves down the throat. 

  • Weakened muscles - Age-related muscle weakness affects every part of the body, including the mouth and throat muscles responsible for safely chewing and moving food backward in the mouth. 

  • Degenerative brain disease - Brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease can affect the part of the brain that controls eating, causing weak and ineffective chewing and swallowing. 

  • Medical equipment - Breathing tubes obscure the mouth and throat, and patients who do not understand the risks of breathing tubes may try to eat while the tube is inserted. 

Of course, people at heightened risk of choking still need to eat regularly, and nursing homes are responsible for providing food with appropriate texture and nutrition to at-risk residents. Failure to carefully monitor residents as they eat can lead to dangerous choking hazards. When the choking is not detected quickly, the lack of oxygen can quickly progress to brain damage and death. 

Contact a Will County Nursing Home Choking Injury Lawyer

Placing your loved one in the care of nursing home staff requires trust and confidence that the staff will carefully monitor and care for your loved one. When a nursing home violates this trust and your loved one suffers as a result, you have options. Take action, seek justice for your loved one’s suffering, and help prevent future injuries from happening to someone else. Contact the Plainfield, IL nursing home injuries lawyer at Flaherty Law, LLC. We are committed to achieving results and pursuing justice. Call us now at 815-577-7500 to schedule a free consultation. 



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