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Choking Does Not Have to Result in Death

Many patients who are in nursing homes are on special diets. Patients who have difficulty swallowing or poor dentition may be on a soft mechanical or pureed diet. Other patients have dietary orders which require all their meats be cut into bite-sized portions. When their dietary orders are not followed, the patient may choke and die. At the Law Offices of Glenn W. Cunningham, we have over 30 years of experience handling nursing home neglect cases and we take pride in helping Texas families.

Choking in Nursing Home Dining Rooms

Choking deaths also occur when the dining room is inadequately staffed, and no one on staff notices that the resident is choking until it is too late. Although the standard of care requires nursing homes to have at least one nurse who is certified in Basic Life Support (BLS), that individual may not be in the dining room when the individual chokes. Because they are worried about upsetting the other residents, many nursing homes do not perform CPR in the dining room. Instead, they wheel the choking patient back to his or her room before performing the Heimlich maneuver or beginning CPR.

Most elderly people have low oxygen reserves to begin with, and it often only takes a couple of minutes for them to become unconscious. Any time the brain is deprived of oxygen, brain damage or death is a likely result:

  • Brain damage is possible when the body is deprived of oxygen for 4-6 minutes
  • Brain damage is likely at 6-10 minutes
  • Brain damage is imminent after 10 minutes

When a person is choking to death, time is of the essence. However, nursing home staff members squander the last precious minutes of a resident’s life by transporting them through the entire facility in a wheelchair.

Contact an Experienced San Antonio Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

If your loved one died in a nursing home because his or her dietary orders were not followed, we can help you hold the negligent parties accountable. Learn more about the legal counsel available by scheduling your free initial consultation with an experienced attorney. We can be reached online or by calling 210-787-3312.