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Could my elderly mother’s aspiration pneumonia have been caused by neglect in her nursing home?

 

A:

 

It could be. Many elderly nursing home patients suffer from aspiration pneumonia as a result of aspirating their food or vomit into their lungs. If your mother suffered aspiration pneumonia as a result of not being fed properly or throwing up as a result of being over-medicated, the nursing home may be liable for your mother’s lung infection. Sometimes, inadequate staff who aren’t trained properly or the lack of staff in nursing homes can make it more likely that residents may suffer from aspiration pneumonia.

Nursing homes are supposed to pay attention to patients who have trouble eating and swallowing and monitor food given to these residents. In fact, nursing homes should be preparing food differently for those patients who have difficulty swallowing. Often times, doctors will place a resident on a liquid diet, pureed diet, or order a feeding tube in order to prevent aspiration pneumonia.

Unfortunately, many residents aren’t monitored like they should be at mealtime because the nursing home is crowded or because the facility is understaffed. When this occurs, patients who should be supervised while eating might not be. As a result, aspiration might occur.

When aspiration happens in elderly nursing home residents, it often causes a severe lung infection due to one’s health, condition, and age. Unfortunately, aspiration pneumonia often requires lengthy hospitalization and care—especially for elderly people who are already weak. Families of those who have suffered shouldn’t be left to pay for the expensive medical bills and losses that occurred as a result of aspiration pneumonia.

To find out your rights to a legal claim, request a free copy of our book: The Florida Nursing Home Abuse Handbook.


Damian Mallard, Esq.
Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney