A state agency is recommending changes to nursing home staff training procedures after three residents in separate facilities around Connecticut choked to death in a four-month period earlier this year. At least two of the three patients were clients of the state's Department of Developmental Services (DDS), which advocates for people with developmental disabilities in care facilities. The state fined each of the nursing homes where the choking deaths occurred.
The first incident occurred on February 3, 2012 at Torrington Health and Rehabilitation Center in Torrington. An elderly patient, who required careful monitoring during meals, reportedly choked on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. An investigation by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) concluded that staff members improperly left the resident alone with the sandwich, leading to the resident's death. Out of a maximum possible fine of $3,000, the state fined the nursing home $510 and ordered it to submit a corrective action plan to DPH.
The following case is successfully handled in Connecticut courts by Attorney Levin.