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Nursing home is fined after patient dies after choking

February 16, 2011 |  5:04 pm

California health regulators have levied a $100,000 fine against a Santa Monica nursing home after concluding that inadequate care led to the death of a patient who died after choking while eating dinner, officials said Wednesday.

Goldstar Rehabilitation and Nursing Center was given an "AA citation," which is the most severe penalty under state law and resulted in the monetary civil penalty, the California Department of Public Health said in a statement.

The agency concluded that the facility failed to provide the patient, described as a 60-year-old man, with a soft diet that was ordered by a doctor, according to a summary report released by the agency.

The man ended up choking on a piece of meat and lost consciousness for about 10 to 15 minutes. The nursing staff tried unsuccessfully to revive the patient, the report said.

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-- Robert J. Lopez

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