Department of Health cites neglect in Maplewood nursing home death

The Minnesota Department of Health published a report of findings last week that says the death of a Ramsey County Care Center resident in April was the result of staff error.

The resident, who was supposed to be on a diet of puree-texture food, choked and died April 1 after being served an Easter holiday lunch. The resident did not have any teeth, and her care plan called for attendants to only serve her food the consistency of pudding. Additionally, the report says, the woman had a history of choking on solid foods.

The Health Department blames the mistake on a special holiday meal ticket that replaced the woman’s regular ticket, which stated the resident’s specific dietary requirements.

The woman, whose identity was not disclosed, choked on a quarter-sized potato, developed pneumonia and was taken to a hospital, where she died later that evening.

Care Center officials have called the incident “unfortunate,” and say they have revised facility protocol and retrained staff to be more vigilant of the issue.

The nursing home, located at 2000 White Bear Ave., is licensed to house 178 patients. It is owned and operated by Ramsey County.

— Johanna Holub

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