Choking Prevention – a Priority for APD

The Clinical Supports unit at APD’s State Office collects data on all client deaths. Recently, a troubling trend was discovered: choking on food as a cause of death increased dramatically over a relatively brief period.

To address this, Registered Nurses in the Clinical Supports unit, with the generous financial support and assistance of the Arc of Florida, have created a cutting board that illustrates how to properly prepare food to prevent choking. The cutting boards visually show the most commonly ordered diet textures - pureed, ground, and cut to size – with true to size representations of ¼”, ½”, and 1” pieces of food. This will help food preparers ensure that the texture they are preparing is consistent with what is needed for an individual to eat safely.

Medical Case Managers statewide will be delivering the cutting boards to group homes and adult day training programs, along with technical assistance on strategies to prevent choking on food, how to recognize choking, and reminders on what to do when someone chokes. The Family Care Councils will also be given a supply of the cutting boards to distribute.

The cutting boards will help food preparers ensure that the texture they are preparing is consistent with what is needed for an individual to eat safely.