North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence: Proper Feeding of Residents Can Prevent Choking Accidents and Other Food-Related Injuries and Illnesses

October 11, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Assisted living facility staff must make sure that each resident is properly fed. This includes making sure their diet meets their nutritional needs and restrictions and keeping each patient properly hydrated. While feeding someone may sound like an easy, obvious task, depending on the resident, there may be numerous steps involved. Should failure fulfill this responsibility result in injury or illness, the patient and his/her family may have grounds for a Charlotte, North Carolina nursing home negligence lawsuit.

For example, some patients may not be able to chew their food unless meats are cut into small bites, liquefied, handfed by someone else, or inserted through a feeding tube. Failure to make sure a resident’s food is in a form that the patient can easily swallow or digest can result in choking accidents, malnutrition, and even death. If a feeding tube is involved, then nursing staff must make sure that it is properly inserted in the patient’s body so that the food is delivered to the stsomach and not to the lungs or some other body part. Such a mistake can prove fatal and lead to a Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death case.

Doctors, nutritionists, and nurses need to make sure that any food allergies are noted on a patient’s food chart. If sugar is a no-no, then this too must be made clear. For some patients, too much cholesterol can stress out the heart. In the last few years, gluten sensitivity and lactose intolerance have become more common. Exposing a patient to foods that are bad for his/her health can lead to serious health complications that could/should have been prevented.

It is also the responsibility of nursing home workers to make sure that the kitchen is clean and free from any dangerous bacteria and that food items are properly cleaned, stored, preserved, prepared, and served. Sick and elderly residents tend to have weaker immune systems than healthy persons and food poisoning, E.coli, and other food illnesses can take a toll on their health.

It also goes without saying that even if a nursing home resident can eat on their own and without requiring close supervision that staff make sure that patients are in fact getting the nutrition and liquids that they need. Living at a nursing home can sometimes lead to depression and loneliness for patients, who may miss family and friends, as well as their old way of life. Loss of appetite can cause a patient to neglect his/her well-being, and it is the responsibility of the assisted living facility to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

Related Web Resources:
Nursing Homes, North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

FDA Food Code

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Nursing Home Shooting Rampage: Man Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 12, 2011

Forsythe County, North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence?: Resident Who Drowned in Puddle in 2009 is Identified by Police, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 16, 2011

Over 18,000 Reports of North Carolina Elder Abuse and Neglect Made in 2011, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 9, 2011


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