Escondido Nursing Home’s Negligence Leads to Man’s Death
An Escondido nursing home has been fined $90,000 after a resident apparently choked to death at lunch. According to a news report on San Diego’s Channel 6, Escondido Care Center was also cited on March 12, 2009 for poor treatment and supervision of its patients. The California Department of Health states in its report that the man was supposed to be on a strict diet because he had trouble chewing and swallowing. But he was eating a lunch of beef with barbecue sauce, mashed potatoes, steamed cabbage and carrots last November when he coughed several times and slumped over in his wheelchair. Nursing home staff members were not able to revive him. Escondido Care Center has apparently appealed this citation.
My heart goes out to the family of this nursing home negligence victim. It is no doubt a tragic, heartbreaking event for this man’s loved ones who believed that they had entrusted him to the care of professionals. They probably never doubted for a second that he would receive anything but the best level of care and attention at this San Diego County facility.
Unfortunately, nursing home negligence and abuse occurs far more commonly and frequently across the country. A lot of cases involving California nursing home negligence and abuse are due to understaffing and the lack of qualified, trained caregivers in these facilities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a 2000 report, found out that about 54 percent of the nation’s nursing homes were understaffed. The report also found that, at the time of the study, residents in 31 percent of the nation’s nursing homes were receiving care for only about 12 minutes a day from registered nurses.
Nursing Home Death Caused by Lack of Supervision
In the case of this San Diego nursing home death, the nursing home staff should have supervised this elderly resident during his meal times, given the fact that the care facility knew that the man had trouble chewing and swallowing. Did they have specific directions from the man’s family or his doctor to give him only pureed or soft food? Were those instructions on his file and were they followed? These are important questions to ask, the answers to which will show whether the nursing home’s staff members were negligent in their duties to properly supervise and provide care to this patient.
This victim’s family would be well-advised to retain the services of a reputed California nursing home negligence attorney who will investigate the details of this case and make sure that the negligent party – in this case the nursing home – is held accountable for the man’s wrongful death. The best California personal injury attorneys will offer a free, comprehensive and completely confidential consultation to victims and their families.