This case was filed on behalf of the mother of a 58-year-old resident who died at Defendant’s residential care facility.
The resident had suffered from severe mental retardation since he was an infant. The resident also suffered from multiple other conditions including dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). The resident’s medical records clearly indicated that he had a history of aspirating food. Consequently, the resident was placed on a mechanical soft diet with supervision ordered to take place at every meal. This supervision was necessary to cue him to eat slowly to help prevent aspiration of food.
At an evening meal on the day of his passing, the resident was allowed to eat without supervision. The resident choked on a piece of bread and a fellow resident alerted the care facility’s staff. No Heimlich maneuver was performed by staff who responded to the patient. Instead, the resident was taken to his room. He continued choking and was noted to turn blue. The staff called 911. The resident experienced sudden cardiac arrest, and the paramedics were unable to revive him. His official cause of death was “asphyxiation on food bolus.”