Apple Valley care center faulted in choking death

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 9, 2013 - 9:49 PM

Ecumen challenges state findings on death at Apple Valley facility.

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DufferHMay. 9, 13 2:32 PM

When one is checking out a memory-care facility for a loved one, it is imperative that one selects a facility with "full nursing" care. Many don't. We visited and looked on line at many facilities before selecting the one we did. A server or kitchen aide is never allowed to oversee a resident's dining. Nurses are always present. I can't imagine a resident of such a facility being allowed to dine unattended. Many of these facilities like to rave about their homey atmosphere. But that is worthless without full nursing care.

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pollyhanahaMay. 9, 13 2:40 PM

How difficult is it to teach *ALL* staff CPR? It is easy to learn and, when used correctly, has saved countless lives. There is just no excuse for not training every single staff member who works in any type of care facility - including housekeeping. You just never know when you may be in the situation where this easy-to-learn procedure would be useful.

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ellasauntieMay. 9, 13 3:09 PM

I find it pretty fishy that only one person in the dining area at the facility had CPR training. Very sad this this man died, but something doesn't add up....

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sntenbenselMay. 9, 13 3:33 PM

Perhaps the resident really needed a higher level of care than the family and staff realized. Maybe the joy of eating for this man more important than "safe" eating and it was a known risk rather out and out negligence. Who knows from this article. Maybe a lot of people learned from this and that the resident did not suffer.

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jd55604May. 9, 13 4:59 PM

The man was 87 years old. What's the difference if someone that old chokes on a waffle or sticks their finger in an electrical socket? We're not going to live forever. This has more to do with money hungry lawyers taking advantage of grieving families than it does with a man’s life being cut tragically short.

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DufferHMay. 9, 13 6:26 PM

snstenbensel: I don't understand where you're coming from. This institution didn't even meet the standards of basic medical care for this man or for any "memory care" unit. The staff already knew it was a "known risk" for this man to eat alone. And what difference does it matter if "a lot of people learned from this?" The man died. Are you telling me that a choking death does not involve suffering?

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mk54401May. 9, 13 7:22 PM

It's funny that Schubert from Ecumen says that "We believe it's humane for people to eat when they want to eat". What about being humane and having enough staff at the "Rise and Dine" to meet the needs of the residents that are eating and under their care!!

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jd55604May. 9, 13 7:47 PM

So very tragic. The man had his whole life ahead of him. all 7 weeks of it staring at birds through a window.

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Bozo beanMay. 9, 13 9:26 PM

Pollyhanana - as an EMT for 23 years, I can tell you that CPR does NOT save lives. CPR only helps keep perfusion going. It is a defibrillator that saves lives. This man did not need CPR; his heart did not stop..

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owatonnabillMay. 9, 13 9:49 PM

jd55604 is a realist. When you're a demented 87-year-old (and for those of you who automatically become incensed at the lack of PC, being in a memory care unit assumes dementia) life is risky. How many 87-year-olds make to 88? Odds are probably not that great. We can ooze compassion, wring our hands over the lack of staff training and trumpet our indignation to high heaven but the fact of the matter is that SOMETHING will kill grandpaw eventually. Choking on a waffle, falling down a flight of stairs or (as is owatonnabill's fond wish) a scenario involving a swimming pool of warm oatmeal and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. And let's be honest. Being a demented geezer on a memory care unit is not exactly heaven.

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