Death from Aspiration in a Nursing Home
Table of Contents
Aspiration death – or death due to a blocked airway –can occur when a nursing home negligently monitors residents. If your loved one recently died from aspiration while living at a nursing home or long-term care facility in Florida, contact Freedland Harwin Valori Gander, PL, for a consultation about your rights as a surviving family member. Legal action can help hold the responsible party accountable if a person or facility could have prevented the fatal incident.
What Is Aspiration Death?
Aspiration death refers to the fatal blockage of an airway due to inhaling a foreign material. Foreign materials can refer to food and drink, objects, mucous and saliva, medications, vomit or acid reflux, or issues such as inflammation of the respiratory tract from infection or pneumonia. Anything that prevents the victim from breathing freely could qualify as aspiration. Aspiration death in a nursing home could take the form of aspiration pneumonia, pulmonary aspiration, or choking. Aspiration death is often preventable with adequate resident monitoring and care. Prevention methods can include:
- Providing easy-to-chew and swallow food to seniors
- Monitoring seniors while they eat and drink
- Conducting medical evaluations to check for aspiration risks
- Monitoring cases of pneumonia to watch for aspiration pneumonia
- Giving medications to control acid reflux or nausea
- Detecting symptoms and risk factors for aspiration
- Treating aspiration before it becomes fatal
Death by aspiration is preventable if a nursing home staff member or physician is properly monitoring a senior at risk of this issue. Nursing homes should check resident medical histories and identify those at higher risk of aspiration, such as those with decreased cognitive awareness, poor control or mobility of their trunks, those taking sedatives, and those with physical deformities. The facility should then take steps to prevent aspiration as appropriate.
Death by Aspiration Pneumonia
Aspiration pneumonia is the most common cause of aspiration-related death in the elderly. Preventing this takes appropriate elderly medical care, treatment, antibiotics, infection prevention, and medical monitoring. Nursing home employees should learn to recognize the signs of aspiration pneumonia and take swift action to remedy the problem before it becomes fatal. Symptoms can include:
- Coughing or gagging
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Discoloration of skin or lips
- Fever or sweating
- Foul-smelling and discolored sputum
- Difficulty swallowing
- Breath odor
Upon further examination, decreased oxygen intake and elevated pulse could help physicians diagnose aspiration pneumonia in time to recommend treatment. Treatment can include administering antibiotics to fight the lung infection, as well as helping residents maintain the right body position while eating and during digestion. It is up to the nursing facility to spot and take appropriate action to prevent and treat aspiration.
Seeking Recovery for Aspiration Death
If negligence played a role in the recent aspiration death of your elderly loved one, the lawyers at Freedland Harwin Valori Gander, PL, can get to the bottom of it. We can investigate the incident, gather any evidence of wrongdoing, and help you present your case to an insurance company, judge, or jury. In Florida, only the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may bring a wrongful death claim. Let us be your legal representation for the highest odds of securing fair compensation.
Your family could be eligible for damages such as funeral and burial costs, medical bills, emotional suffering, and the loss of the senior’s love and companionship. Our wrongful death attorneys have years of experience handling nursing home abuse and neglect claims and can help you learn and protect your deceased loved one’s rights. If we believe the nursing home or its employees should have spotted and treated or prevented aspiration death, we can argue your case during settlement negotiations or a jury trial, if necessary. For more information about your claim, contact our Florida team at (954) 467-6400 or schedule a consultation online. Our medical malpractice law firm in Fort Lauderdale and Coral Gables, South Florida, is here to provide the support and expertise you need.
free consultation anytime, anywhere.
ALL FIELDS REQUIRED
Damages Jury Verdict on behalf of the family of a 34-year-old woman who bled to death during childbirth. With the assistance of top experts, we were able to demonstrate that doctors did not follow proper safety protocols, forcing the defendants to admit liability shortly before trial.
A settlement won on behalf of the family of a 47 year old woman whose death resulted from the use of a dangerous pharmaceutical drug. We proved the manufacturer knew of the dangerous side effects & did not provide proper warning.
A settlement on behalf of a child who suffered a brain injury as a result of oxygen deprivation during birth. Through years of tactical and technical litigation, we were able to prove that the nurses and physicians both failed to intervene and prevent the brain injury.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
A settlement on behalf of a middle-aged man who was read ended by a waste management truck.
NURSING HOME NEGLIGENCE
A settlement on behalf of the family of an elderly man who died as a result of being neglected and uncared for by a nursing home.
I met Dan when I was in therapy and he came and right away it felt like a family member visiting you, a connection, like a brother. He’s been on both sides of the fence. He’s represented the hospitals and the doctors, and then he jumped over to the other side. It is a fantastic group, it was like Bell Belichick leading the team. They changed my life and still check on me. I recommend FHV to anybody and they thank me.
I met Dan about a year ago. He never made me feel that it was about the money. When he spoke with me he was asking how Bill (my brother) was and if he was doing better. He made me feel like family and always asked if I was alright. That means a lot. Everyday is something new and I challenge for my brother. I would recommend [FHV] to everybody because I really believe that they’re helping from their hearts… from a really good place.
For anyone to represent anyone for 5 years and take the time to do it, not once just “get it out of the way” and “get it done with”. It was about what was best for Hunter and our family. It was about the case and the people.