The family of an Illinois man who died after choking has filed a lawsuit against the nursing home in charge of his care, alleging that nursing staff did not take adequate preventative measures or supervise the victim while he was eating. The Illinois nursing home abuse attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers routinely encounter nursing facilities that fail to supervise patients that are at an elevated risk of choking. As more for-profit facilities appear across the state, it is becoming increasingly common for facilities to operate on barebones staff levels and be unable to provide the care or supervision that patients deserve.
Family Files Lawsuit under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act
The Cardwell family has brought the lawsuit against Manor Care of Palos Heights, which was responsible for the care of their relative, Gerald McNamara. McNamara died after choking on his food and his family claims that the accident would not have occurred if staff members had provided assistance and supervision during his meals. Assistive measures that would have prevented his death included cutting his food into small pieces for him and having a staff member present while he ate.
Manor Care is a nursing home chain that has a soured reputation across the state. Its facilities have received mixed ratings from Medicare through its nursing home compare tool and one of the common deficiencies cited for its facilities is the lack of adequate staffs for its homes. The lawsuit brought against Manor Care also names several nursing staff members and the doctor responsible for McNamara’s care.
Risk Factors for Choking
Certain medical conditions can increase a nursing patient’s risk of choking. Among these are many neurological disorders that impact the nervous or muscular systems, including multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. Certain cancers, strokes and injuries to the spine can also affect the ability of a patient to swallow properly. Muscle weakness can also result from age and the elderly are generally more likely to have difficulty swallowing than any other age group.
If a patient is at risk for choking, an individualized care plan must have provisions included to address this risk. These provisions include an assessment of what types of food the patient is permitted to have and what form these foods must be served in. Instructions are to be included in the patient’s chart so that any caregiver can easily access them and follow them accordingly. Patients at risk of choking should never be allowed to eat without supervision and in some cases, a caregiver may be required to provide assistance throughout the meal if the patient is unable to eat on his or her own power.
Defending the Rights of Your Loved One
If your loved one was injured due to neglectful care or the lack of adequate provisions or preventative measures, you may be entitled to compensation. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help you find the justice you are seeking by holding negligent facility accountable for its misdeeds. In addition to helping you recover the compensation that you are entitled to on behalf of your loved one, we can also assist you in moving any loved ones who are in a poor environment into a nursing facility that will more adequately offer the care that they deserve.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our Illinois nursing home abuse attorneys so that we can gather the information we need to investigate and build your case and so that we can review your legal options with you. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you will never be required to pay upfront attorneys’ fees and we will only receive payment once we have secured compensation on your behalf.