Care Staff Perceptions of Choking Incidents: What Details are Reported?

Guthrie, Susan, Lecko, Caroline and Roddam, Hazel orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0637-1801 (2015) Care Staff Perceptions of Choking Incidents: What Details are Reported? Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 28 (2). pp. 121-132. ISSN 1360-2322

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Following a series of fatal choking incidents in one UK specialist service, this study evaluated the detail included in incident reporting. This study compared the enhanced reporting system in the specialist service with the national reporting and learning system.

Eligible reports were selected from a national organization and a specialist service using search terms relevant to adults with intellectual disability and/or mental ill health. Qualitative analysis was completed with comparison of themes identified in both sets of reports.

The numbers of choking incidents identified in national reports suggest underreporting compared with the specialist service and varying levels of severity. Themes included trends in timing, care setting and food textures as perceived by staff.

This study demonstrates paucity of detail in reporting in systems without additional question prompts. Adding these questions requires staff to include greater detail which enables learning and risk mitigation to take place.

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