Nursing Home Fined After Resident Chokes On Carrot, Dies

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Two nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health, including a home in Wallingford that was fined $2,500 in connection with the choking death of a resident.

On Feb. 25, the Village Green of Wallingford received the fine in connection with the Feb. 4 incident in which the resident died after choking on a carrot, the DPH citation said.

The resident was supposed to receive a pureed diet, but that day, a nurse found the resident unresponsive with a tray of food that included chopped, not pureed food, the citation said.

The nurse called for help, and resuscitation was started, along with CPR and suctioning. EMTs arrived and removed a carrot from the resident’s throat. The resident was transferred to a hospital and died, the citation said.

An investigation found that a nurse’s aide had mistakenly provided another resident’s tray to the resident with food that was not pureed, the citation said. The aide reported that he or she had not received an orientation in the nursing home and floated through different units, the citation said.

After the incident, the home re-educated the staff to ensure that the correct type of food was delivered to residents, and state inspectors observed Feb. 10 that a new action plan was in place to make sure that happened, the citation said.

Christine Fitzgerald, executive director of the Village Green, said she has recently been hired and a new director of nursing has recently been hired. The home has responded to all of the points made in the state citation, she said.

“The health and welfare of our residents is always our number-one priority,” she said.

On March 5, the Groton Regency Center was fined $500 in connection with a nurse’s aide who swore at a resident on May 23, 2014, the DPH citation said. The nursing home’s investigation found that verbal abuse was substantiated, and the aide was fired for misconduct, the citation states.

Jeanne Moore, a spokeswoman for Genesis HealthCare, which owns Groton Regency Center, said, “We worked with the state survey agency to quickly regain regulatory compliance.”

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