Coroner's Court #chokeaware
  • Coroner's Court #chokeaware

    CORONER: Care Staff did all they could, but sadly the resident died.

    When a choking death occurs in a Care Home, Nursing Home or other Adult Care service there will almost certainly be an inquest. Both the CQC and CCG will be interested, a Police investigation may follow.

    Reputation of the service, effect and demand on staff – resulting in absences or resignation – plus distress to other residents all result from a single incident. Better then, surely, to avoid it happening.

    Every adult care service will most likely experience a choking incident at some point. A combination of age, additional care needs and other conditions such as Dysphagia, COPD etc. all increase the risk of choking occurring.

    How long does it take for help to arrive?

    Trying to assist someone when they are choking is not a simple procedure when managing an individual with additional support needs.

    Current guidance for managing choking requires the person assisting to stand behind the person and deliver back blows and, if necessary, followed by Heimlich Manoeuvre/Abdominal Thrusts.

    Clearly if the individual is unable to stand this is going to a) reduce the effectiveness of the intervention or, b) not be possible at all.

    It only take a few minutes before a person becomes unresponsive, at which point the only option left is CPR. With an obstructed airway however, survival beyond 10 minutes is going to be unlikely.