This case takes place in Illinois and involves a male child who died from suffocation due to choking while at a school serving students with disabilities. The student was newly-admitted and had a known history of choking hazard – he was not supposed to be left alone while eating, and required additional attention due to other developmental disabilities. During a school program, someone observed the student was not breathing. It was some time before 911 was called, and although the medics were able to remove pieces of food from the child’s airway, the child expired. It is alleged that school staff should not have allowed the child to eat unattended, and that the school nurse had a direct responsibility to prevent accidents like this from occurring.
Expert Witness Response E-024537
I am highly qualified to review this case and glad to assist. I have worked in 2 early childhood special needs education preschool settings with students with disabilities and was responsible for the care for those students. I have written emergency care plans for medically fragile preschoolers. I am able to speak to the standard of care for children who are known choking risks. I have written emergency care plans for medically fragile preschoolers. I have served as a expert witness on school health cases and given a number of depositions. I have testified twice once for a school district, once against. I worked for the National Association of School Nurses for 4 years or as a college professor in nursing since 2003. It appears that the school staff in this instance failed to take adequate steps to prevent this accident from happening.
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