Chicago Choking Negligence Lawyer – Clogged Breathing Tubes In Nursing Homes
Some of the most devastating injuries for the elderly result from choking or a lack of oxygen.
Unfortunately, choking incidents and clogged breathing tubes are two common occurrences frequently seen in nursing homes. These incidents are not always purely accidental – often, they are the result of nursing home negligence for which a facility can be held liable.
If your senior loved one has suffered from a choking incident in a nursing home, and you believe that it happened because the staff was careless or inattentive, you may be able to pursue a case. Your loved one and your family may have the right to be compensated for the injury. In Illinois, talk to us at Willens Injury Law Offices to learn about your legal options and to get the legal service you deserve.
Duty Of A Facility To Prevent Choking And Clogged Breathing Tubes
When you entrust a family member to a nursing home, you expect that the facility will provide appropriate care for your loved one’s advanced age and health condition. Indeed, this is a legal duty of nursing homes. Part of this obligation is to prevent choking and breathing problems among their elderly residents, especially because seniors have higher risk of experiencing these conditions.
Elderly choking is something that caregivers must anticipate because older persons have reduced swallowing abilities. Swallowing difficulty is medically called dysphagia, and it is found to affect as many as 60 percent of residents in US nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Meanwhile, many nursing home residents face the risk of endotracheal intubation problems. Intubation is the insertion of a breathing tube into the body via the trachea (windpipe), and this is required by patients for various reasons. It keeps the airway open during and after surgery, it aides the breathing of patients with pneumonia or a collapsed lung, and it supports breathing during the treatment of illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Since choking and breathing tube problems are foreseeable incidents in a nursing home, caregiving staff are expected to take preventative measures such as:
- Close supervision of residents, especially during meals
- Providing the type of foods necessitated by residents’ care plan (many care plans specify a dysphagia diet consisting of soft foods)
- Avoiding any food or object that may trigger a residents’ allergic reaction
- Keeping the premises free of choking hazards
- Positioning immobile residents in ways that ease their breathing
- Consistently suctioning breathing tubes to remove potential blockages
- Close monitoring of residents’ vital signs
- Close monitoring for signs of distress, especially since intubated persons may not be able to speak
- Having a prompt emergency procedure for choking and clogged breathing tubes.
Devastating Results Of Choking And Clogged Breathing Tubes
When a nursing home fulfils its obligation to its residents, choking and clogged breathing tubes are preventable. Sadly, we have seen too many cases of elder care facilities being negligent in their duties, leading to serious injuries and even death. These are some examples:
[su_service title=”Brain damage.” icon=”icon: wheelchair” icon_color=”#f26522″]Oxygen deprivation harms the brain. The damage can range from mild and short-term, to the severe and permanent like stroke, movement problems, coma, and brain death.[/su_service]
[su_service title=”Arrhythmia.” icon=”icon: wheelchair” icon_color=”#f26522″]This heart disorder is characterized by an irregular or abnormal heartbeat.[/su_service]
[su_service title=”Cardiac arrest (Heart attack).” icon=”icon: wheelchair” icon_color=”#f26522″][/su_service]
[su_service title=”Tracheal perforation.” icon=”icon: wheelchair” icon_color=”#f26522″]This is a medical term for a tear or rupture on the windpipe. This affects the passage of air into the body and requires urgent repair.[/su_service]
[su_service title=”Pulmonary aspiration.” icon=”icon: wheelchair” icon_color=”#f26522″]This refers to the entry of material into the respiratory tract, such as food bits getting into the windpipe or fluid entering the lungs.[/su_service]
[su_service title=”Infection in the respiratory system” icon=”icon: wheelchair” icon_color=”#f26522″][/su_service]
[su_service title=”Damage to the mouth, teeth, or gums” icon=”icon: wheelchair” icon_color=”#f26522″][/su_service]
[su_service title=”Damage to the vocal cord or nasal passages” icon=”icon: wheelchair” icon_color=”#f26522″][/su_service]
[su_service title=”Sudden death.” icon=”icon: wheelchair” icon_color=”#f26522″][/su_service]
A host of other complications may occur from oxygen deprivation or the presence of unclean tubes in the body. Some patients, for instance, suffer from related hypertension, spinal injuries, and speaking difficulties. Emotional or psychological problems are also not uncommon, especially for patients who have sustained life-altering injuries.
Low Quality Of Care In Illinois
With the health risks that they face, our elderly deserve the best quality of attention from caregivers. But in Illinois, elder care is has dipped to worrying levels.
Just recently, the state has been found to be one of the worst in the country when it comes to nursing home care. Its nursing homes collectively ranked 42nd out of all US states when they were surveyed on health inspection deficiency findings, staffing, and performance quality.
Understaffing is a particular issue among our elder care facilities. A 2018 study found that some 280 facilities in Illinois have low staff levels. This issue cascades to more problems: a nursing home with a low staff-to-resident ratio cannot supervise its residents properly, and caregivers employed there will be overworked and more prone to making mistakes.
Related: Chicago Bedsores Negligence Attorney
Apart from short-staffing, there are other unscrupulous shortcuts that nursing homes are known to employ. These include hiring unqualified staff, cutting their budget on equipment and provisions, and taking on more residents than they can reasonably accommodate.
It’s no wonder why the Illinois Department of Public Health receives 19,000 calls on their Nursing Home Hotline every year.
Seniors and their families must not be afraid to stand up to a nursing home with unacceptable practices. Our legal system is intended to protect the elderly from being harmed in these facilities, and families can make the law work for them by finding justice for their loved one.
Willens Law Fights For The Elderly And Their Families
It is true that long-term care facilities are usually well-prepared to defend themselves against negligence cases. This is why if your loved one was injured in a nursing home, you should not go it alone – enlist a lawyer who is proven successful in fighting for the elderly.
Willens Injury Law Offices is prepared and fully able to provide effective legal service to you. We have helped Illinois families win in nursing home cases, including:
[su_service title=”A $725,000 settlement for a man whose improper treatment led to an infection” icon=”icon: dollar” icon_color=”#f26522″][/su_service]
[su_service title=”A $275,000 settlement for a woman who was dropped at the facility” icon=”icon: dollar” icon_color=”#f26522″][/su_service]
[su_service title=”A $225,000 settlement for a resident who was inadequately supervised and was injured in a fall.” icon=”icon: dollar” icon_color=”#f26522″][/su_service]
Our aggressive legal approach at Willens Injury Law Offices allows us to face powerful companies and organizations. But when it comes to dealing with our clients, our entire team makes it a point to be compassionate and professional to help ease their stress.
Willens Injury Law Offices serves Chicago and surrounding communities. Nursing homes here include:
- Aperion Care
- Arbour Health Care Center
- Balmoral Home
- Bethesda Rehab & Senior Care
- Center Home Hispanic Elderly
- Central Nursing Home
- Chalet Living & Rehab
- Citadel of Waterford
- Mayfield Care Center
- Mercy Circle Retirement Community
- Norwood Crossing
- Peterson Park Health Care Center
- Princeton Rehab & HCC
- Ridgeview Rehab & Nursing Center
- St. Paul’s House
- Sunrise of Lincoln Park
- The Point at Kilpatrick
- Warren Barr Gold Coast
- Windmill Nursing Pavilion
Your initial consultation with Willens Injury Law Offices is absolutely free and confidential. Please talk to us about your elder loved one’s nursing home injury. Call Willens Injury Law Offices at (888) 445-1446 today.