Elderly patients often require specific kinds of care. This is largely due to the fact that many of these patients have cognitive disabilities in conjunction with chronic medical conditions. These conditions often require monitoring and sometimes, specific diets. When the diet is not followed, the consequences can be disastrous.
Anna Mae Yocham should have never been given a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This is what her family is claiming in a federal lawsuit filed against Golden Plains Rehabilitation Center, LLC; it’s Illinois-based corporate manager, William Rothner; and Atied Associates LLC, the Illinois-based company that “owned, operated, managed, maintained, and/or controlled” Golden Plains at the time of Yocham’s death.
Yocham was a homemaker who had lived most of her life in Hutchinson, Kansas. She had moved into Golden Plains in 2011. She was 73-years old at the time of her death.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that Yocham required supervision while eating. She also required a “pureed” diet due to difficulties chewing and swallowing. They claim that despite this special diet being in Yocham’s file, that staff members gave Yocham a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a snack.
After giving Yocham the sandwich as a snack, nursing home staff discovered her coughing and making no sound. They asked Yocham if she was choking and she nodded. The staff then proceeded to do the Heimlich maneuver on Yocham. The were able to get two pieces of food, which had not been chewed well, dislodged from her throat. Afterwards, staff did a finger sweep of her mouth and found no additional food.
Yocham began to clear her throat and was given “thickened water” to sip. At this point, Yocham began turning blue and became unresponsive. Staff performed the Heimlich again and a non-CPR certified staff member initiated CPR. EMS was called to the scene.
The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, issued a statement of deficiency to the facility. Medicare’s website shows a fine of $40,838.
The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial and damages exceeding $75,000. The defendants had not filed a response as of Wednesday, March 2nd.
If you believe that yourself or a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect while staying in a nursing facility, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the “Strong Arm” attorneys at the law offices of John Foy & Associates. Contact us today.