1 Feb 2013

Resthomes urged to watch residents after choking death

7:20 pm on 1 February 2013

A Coroner has highlighted the dangers of leaving resthome patients eating on their own after a Central Otago man choked on a sweet.

Roy Middleton died in January last year at the Ranui Home and Hospital in Alexandra.

Coroner David Crerar says Mr Middleton, who suffered from dementia, was left alone by his caregiver while chewing on a piece of Turkish Delight.

He says the caregiver returned to find him choking and another carer performed the Heimlich manoeuvre on him unsuccessfully.

Mr Crerar says all resthome operators and carers should be aware of the dangers of leaving frail, elderly patients eating food which has the potential to choke.

He recommended that the resthome involved upgrade its emergency call systems and conduct more intensive training for its staff.