Chicago, IL Attorneys for Nursing Home Choking Victims
At Malman Law, we dedicate a significant portion of our practice to helping victims of nursing home neglect and abuse. We are all too familiar with the grim statistics on the quality of nursing home care in Illinois, and we are committed to holding negligent and abusive nursing homes responsible for their life-changing misdeeds. One of the types of cases that we handle regularly is choking incidents resulting from inattentive or inappropriate care.
The Risks of Choking
Choking is a leading cause of serious medical conditions and death among elderly nursing home residents. When we breathe in, our lungs push oxygen into the bloodstream, allowing it to move throughout the body. Our heart, brain, and other organs all rely on a healthy supply of oxygen in order to operate properly. Choking results in a reduction in oxygen supply. When we are not able to breathe in oxygen, our organs start to suffer within a matter of minutes. If not remedied immediately, choking can quickly lead to brain damage, organ failure, and death.
Common Causes of Choking in Nursing Homes
Elderly individuals living in nursing homes are at an increased risk for suffering serious and fatal choking incidents. Some of the leading causes of choking risks among patients living in nursing homes include:
- Illnesses and Infections — Various illnesses and infections that impair physical and cognitive ability in elderly patients can heighten the risk of choking.
- Medication Errors – Errors in administering nursing home residents’ medications can also lead to choking. Muscle relaxants, for instance, can make swallowing difficult, and patients should be closely monitored to avoid choking risks. Certain side effects and interactions between medications can lead to problems swallowing and chewing as well.
- Neurodegenerative Diseases and Dementia — Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and other conditions can also put patients at higher risk for choking. Patients with advanced dementia can forget to swallow, resulting in inhalation of food or liquids, which can lead to choking.
- Physical Obstructions – Lodged pieces of food and other obstructions can present sudden and immediate choking hazards.
- Poor Diet – A high-sugar, high-carbohydrate diet can lead to dental problems, obesity, and vascular damage — and potentially even problems with the muscle tone in the face, jaws, and throat. These conditions can all make it more difficult for nursing home residents to chew and swallow, increasing their risk for choking.
In general, lack of supervision from nurses and other care providers is a key factor in many choking cases in nursing homes. Many residents require near-constant supervision – which is why they choose to live in nursing homes – yet often find themselves isolated and abandoned in times of need. For all residents, nursing home staff should be monitoring for choking risks, and should provide supervision and safe food options to protect against the risks of choking.
Nursing Home Choking Incidents Should Not Happen
As with many of the dangerous conditions faced by individuals living in nursing homes, choking hazards typically can – and should – be avoided. Nursing home staff and administrators are responsible for providing safe living environments, and are obligated to provide care and supervision consistent with each patient’s prescribed care plan. However, even if a nursing home resident’s care plan does not specifically outline needs relating to possible choking risks, care providers still must take appropriate measures to protect against possible hazards. If a resident is choking, they must take prompt, effective action to protect his or her wellbeing.
Seeking Compensation for Nursing Home Choking Incidents
At Malman Law, we have decades of experience helping elderly victims and their families collect financial compensation for choking incidents occurring in nursing homes in the Chicagoland area and throughout Illinois. In choking cases, it is critical to take action as soon as possible. If you or a loved one has suffered a decline in health after experiencing any of the following symptoms, we encourage you to contact us right away:
- Coughing, gagging, or wheezing
- Cyanosis (a blue hue appearing in the face, lips, and fingernails)
- Inability to breathe
- Inability to speak
- Loss of consciousness
We have a nurse on staff who has over 30 years of experience working in nursing homes, and we maintain close relationships with physicians and other medical professionals who can help us quickly assess the causes of nursing home injuries. If it appears that inattentive care, a staff administration failure, or other form of negligent or abusive care is to blame for your choking incident, we will take aggressive action to win maximum compensation for your injuries.
Contact the Chicago, IL Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers at Malman Law Today
The Malman Law attorneys and professional staff are passionate about helping victims of nursing home negligence and abuse. We offer free, confidential consultations, and our zero-fee guarantee means that you pay us nothing unless we win your case. To speak with an experienced lawyer about your nursing home choking incident, call Malman Law 24/7 at (888) 625-6265 or contact us online today.