Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Since January, a choking death and three near-fatal choking incidents apparently occurred at a small nursing home in Wales -- company executives aren't answering my questions, so I've asked oversight agencies to investigate


In the course of researching a story about a choking rescue device called the LifeVac, I stumbled upon what appears to be a troubling situation at a nursing home in a small town in the south of Wales.

According to media reports, press releases, and a Facebook post last week, in less than eight months, a resident of the home choked to death and there have been three near-fatal choking incidents involving two elderly residents, the most recent of which is said to have occurred last week.

It's unclear why this spate of fatal and near-fatal episodes apparently occurred at the facility, so today I asked government agencies to investigate.

Details are murky, but according to various information sources including a Long Island, NY, newspaper, an unidentified resident choked to death this past January at the Allt-Y-Mynydd Care Home in Llanybydder, which has beds for 44 or fewer residents.

According to a UK newspaper, in late May the facility purchased a LifeVac and just days later, a registered nurse who works for the nursing home used the device to save the life of an elderly woman.

According to a LifeVac press release, days later the same elderly resident again nearly choked to death, requiring a hospitalization.

And last week, according to Help Save Lives, a London medical and training supplies company that sold the LifeVac to Allt-Y-Mynydd, yet another near-fatal choking occurred:


In order to learn more about why so many life-threatening incidents have happened within such a short time, in recent months I've made best efforts to obtain more information from Judy Fawke, manager of the facility...


...and from Nigel Denny, Managing Director of Ashberry Healthcare of Oxfordshire, England, Allt-Y-Mynydd's parent corporation.


In response to multiple inquiries requesting non-confidential information about the choking incidents, neither has responded to my questions, so today I asked three government agencies to investigate.

I'll report the results in a future item.