When the elderly reach the point where they need to be admitted to a nursing home or long term care facility, they are in fragile condition and need to be watched over very carefully by the caregivers of these facilities. It is very important that nursing homes are ready for the multiple life threatening emergencies that can occur with the elderly. Nursing home neglect can be prevented if the facility is prepared.
Nurse Allegedly Left Choking Resident Alone for 20 Minutes
The Johnson Mathers Nursing Home in Carlisle, Kentucky received a Type A citation from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Office of Inspector General on May 10 for an April 30, 2010 incident of nursing home neglect where a resident’s life or safety was endangered because of violations of state regulations. The incident involved a newly admitted resident who was on a pureed diet and had requested all necessary measures be taken to save her life.
Shortly after the resident was fed her evening meal, a licensed practical nurse heard from the hallway outside of the resident’s room a “gurgling.” The nurse went into the room and asked if she could clear the food from her throat, but the resident shook her head “no.” The LPN then left the choking patient alone without supervision and neglected to inform any other staff member of what was going on for fifteen to twenty minutes while she cleaned a dirty suction machine. She returned to the patient but the suctioning did not alleviate the choking. Fifteen minutes later the LPN went to the nurse’s station where she informed them of the situation and told them “I think she’s gone.” When the other nurses went into the patient’s room they found her with a faint pulse. A nurse performed CPR and she was then taken to the emergency room where she died. According to the citation, the death certificate listed the cause of death as aspiration pneumonia.
The citation said that “The facility failed to have an effective system in place to ensure … supervision to residents who are choking and who have requested CPR.” The nursing home also neglected to have proper equipment cleaned and ready in case an emergency occurred. This facility needs to implement standard procedures for when choking or other emergencies occur with their residents. A nurse should never leave a patient alone while choking. If she had to leave the room, she should have found another staff member to help in her absence. Nursing home neglect is becoming more of a problem as budgets and staffing decrease, but this is below standard care and the death of this woman could have been easily avoided.
Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If your loved one is currently a resident of a nursing home or care facility, pay attention to the quality of equipment and nursing staff. If you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.