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Report: 4 Choking Deaths at Connecticut Nursing Homes in 3 Months


Posted by Michael A. D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jul 31, 2012 in Nursing Home Neglect

Citing a Department of Public Health report, the Hartford Courant reports that a resident at a Southbury nursing home choked to death in April because a nursing assistant failed to read the meal instructions.

click here for Hartford Courant's July 30, 2012 article

The article reports that the other 3 choking deaths between early February and late April of this year occurred at the Meridian Manor nursing home in Waterbury, Aurora Senior Living of Cromwell, and Torrington Health & Rehabilitation Center.

Having been involved in a similar negligence claim against a local nursing home that led to a significant verdict in 2007 (click here), it is disappointing that effective patient-safety efforts have not been implemented.

In 2003, a report by the Government Accountability Office found serious deficiencies (causing residents actual harm or placing them in immediate jeopardy) in 20% of all nursing homes in the United States.  Ironically, families decide to place their loved ones in nursing homes in order to provide a superior quality of care.   

The deaths of nursing home residents on restricted diets are almost always preventable.  Click here for more information on preventable choking hazards in nursing homes.  However, they continue to occur with alarming frequency.

Nursing home safety advocates agree that the biggest problems are insufficient training and understaffing.  This is because the large corporations that run most nursing homes continue to put profits ahead of people.  

Hopefully this recent spate of tragedies will spur Connecticut nursing and convalescent homes to re-assess and prioritize choking-prevention training for nurses and aides.