Nursing Home Slapped With $100K Fine For Patient’s Choking Death

SANTA MONICA (CBS) —  A Santa Monica nursing home was slapped with a $100,000 fine Wednesday for the 2009 choking death of a patient, according to the state Department of Public Health.

Investigators determined that staff at Goldstar Rehabilitation and Nursing Center failed to follow patient-care policies and procedures.

According to a report, the patient was a 60-year-old man admitted in June 2008 with multiple sclerosis and thyroid problems. Because he lost most of his teeth and had difficulty chewing, doctors put him on a special diet mandating only soft foods.

In April 2009, however, the patient was allowed to eat at a special candle-light dinner put on by the facility. Residents were served pork chops that were prepared by a staff member at home, according to the report.

The man began choking on the pork and fell unconscious for about 10-15 minutes.

The man was eventually resuscitated and taken to an acute-care facility, where he died about a week later, according to the state.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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