One of the cruelest examples of nursing home negligence is when staff fail to adhere to physician’s orders that pertain to patients’ diets. Similar to dispensing medication, when it comes to disabled patients, doctors are typically responsible for determining what types of food– and just how much food– patients should be eating.
Particularly, when its a situation involving a patient eating solid vs. soft foods, it is crucial that a doctor or professional with experience relating to patients swallowing and digestive abilities, carefully evaluate each patients individual needs. Further, it is crucial that staff at the nursing home strictly adhere to the orders set forth by the physician.
When staff fail to adhere to the physician orders relating to dietary restrictions, disaster may ensue.
An example of the problems associated with staff ignoring physician orders– or just plain common sense– happened at a California nursing home when a toothless patient choked to death on a pork chop. Following an investigation into the incident at Goldstar Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, it was concluded that staff at the facility ignored physician orders specifying a soft-food diet, when they allowed the patient to consume a pork chop.
The incident resulted in a $100,000 fine.