Was a Loved One Injured Due to Clogged Breathing Tube Nursing Home Malpractice? Call Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Bend, Oregon for Help
People place their loved ones in a nursing home when they need a higher level of care than their family can provide. Their loved ones trust the individuals working at their loved one’s nursing home to provide the best care possible for their loved one. Unfortunately, there are times when nursing home residents are not afforded the best care, leading to serious harm or even death. One example of this is when nursing home residents who require a breathing tube to breathe are not properly cared for, something our medical malpractice lawyer in Bend, Oregon knows happens far too often. If these residents are not appropriately monitored and their breathing tubes are not properly cared for, it can lead to a clogged breathing tube which can be very dangerous or even deadly. Injuries caused by clogged breathing tube nursing home malpractice is serious and can allow victims and their families an opportunity to recover compensation under the law.
Our Oregon medical malpractice lawyer in Bend understands the repercussions of inadequate care and supervision of residents with breathing tubes, and feel that these victims and their loved ones should never have to suffer due to the negligent care of nursing home staff. If you or a loved one suffered any personal injuries due to clogged breathing tube nursing home malpractice, or if a loved one was wrongfully killed due to a clogged breathing tube, call our experienced personal injury lawyers for help. We offer FREE consultations and case evaluations, with no obligation to sign up that day and retain our bodily injury law firm.
Breathing Tubes Explained
A breathing tube is as mentioned above something that some nursing home residents require to help them to breathe. Typically, a tube is inserted into the trachea, allowing oxygen into the lungs while other times a tube is inserted through the nose. A tube may be inserted through the nose if there is a risk of an obstruction that could impair the person’s ability to breathe.
The two types of breathing tubes include endotracheal intubation (through the mouth) and nasotracheal intubation (through the nose). Lastly, a breathing tube may be surgically inserted in the throat and serves as a permanent or long-term airway. This is referred to as a tracheostomy.
Thus, a breathing tube is a medical device that is used to help patients who are unable to breathe on their own. In a nursing home setting, a breathing tube may be used to provide respiratory support for patients who have respiratory failure, difficulty breathing, or who require mechanical ventilation. The breathing tube is inserted through the mouth or nose and down into the trachea, or windpipe. This allows air to bypass any blockages in the upper airway and reach the lungs. The tube is connected to a ventilator, which delivers oxygen and air into the lungs, and removes carbon dioxide from the body.
Why Do Some Nursing Home Residents Require a Breathing Tube?
There are many different reasons as to why a nursing home resident may require a breathing tube. Sometimes, a nursing home resident may have a severe spinal cord injury, necessitating the use of a breathing tube to assist them to breathe. Other times, chronic conditions or diseases such as lung cancer or COPD may prompt the use of a breathing tube. Other times, acute conditions such as pneumonia may require a breathing tube, although use of a breathing tube for this indication is less common in a nursing home setting.
What Can Happen if Breathing Tubes Are Not Properly Cared For?
If a breathing tube is not properly cared for, it can lead to serious consequences including wrongful death. Some of the risks associated with the use of breathing tubes include improper insertion of the breathing tube, leading to damage of surrounding structures or inadequate ventilation of the resident, dislodgment of the breathing tube leading to oxygen deprivation or death, or a clog in the breathing tube leading to oxygen deprivation or death.
Some of the potential consequences of a clogged breathing tube include:
- Respiratory distress: A clogged breathing tube can prevent the patient from receiving enough oxygen, leading to respiratory distress and possibly respiratory failure.
- Hypoxia: If the patient’s brain is deprived of oxygen for too long, it can lead to brain damage or even death.
- Infection: A clogged breathing tube can increase the risk of infection, as bacteria can build up in the tube and cause an infection in the lungs or elsewhere in the body.
- Aspiration: If the patient is unable to clear secretions or fluids from their airway due to the clogged breathing tube, it can increase the risk of aspiration, where food, liquid, or stomach contents are inhaled into the lungs.
- Damage to the airway: A clogged breathing tube can put pressure on the airway, causing damage or even perforation of the airway.
It is important to monitor breathing tubes closely and address any signs of clogging or obstruction promptly to avoid these potential complications. Regular suctioning and cleaning of the breathing tube can help prevent clogs, as can carefully managing the patient’s secretions and fluids.
How Do Breathing Tubes Become Clogged?
Clogs can happen in a variety of ways, but any degree of a clog is quite dangerous as it prevents the person from getting an adequate oxygen supply. If a resident is attached to a ventilator to assist them to breathe, the machine will alarm if they are not getting enough oxygen. If a nursing home resident is being improperly monitored, no one may hear the machine alarming, leading to oxygen deprivation or death.
Another cause of a clogged breathing tube is if food clogs the breathing tube. Residents with breathing tubes should be properly monitored while eating as they are at a greater risk for aspiration or for clogging of their breathing tube. Another cause of a clogged breathing tube is if secretions block the tube.
Injuries Caused by a Clogged Breathing Tube
As mentioned above, clogging of a breathing tube is incredibly dangerous if it is not identified in a timely manner. Clogging of a breathing tube can result in oxygen deprivation, which can cause the following:
- Wrongful death
- Loss of consciousness
- Brain, heart, or lung damage
- Heart Attack
- Vision loss
- Nasal trauma
- Pulmonary aspiration
- Vocal cord injury or impairment
- Teeth, mouth, lip, or gum damage
- Other injuries caused by a clogged breathing tube
How Is a Clogged Breathing Tube Caused by Nursing Home Negligence?
Residents move into a nursing home because they are in need of specialized care that they are unable to receive at home. These residents and their loved ones trust and rely on nursing home staff to adequately care for the residents. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Nursing home care providers have a duty and obligation to ensure that breathing tubes are properly functioning and that a resident’s oxygen saturation is within an adequate range based on a medical provider’s order. The failure to do so could be nursing home abuse, neglect and malpractice.
Appropriate care of the tube is necessary to ensure that it remains patent and free of occlusion. Suctioning the breathing tube to ensure that the resident is free of secretions and ensuring that the tube is appropriately secured are examples of breathing tube care that nursing home caregivers have a responsibility to provide. Additionally, proper assessment and intervention is vital to ensuring that nursing home residents are properly ventilated.
Examples of this include assessing for any signs of distress or discomfort, assessing for signs of infection at the site of the breathing tube, regular vital sign assessment, and general assessment of the resident’s overall health as well as any change in their demeanor. Proper monitoring of nursing home residents who have a breathing tube can have catastrophic consequences.
How Our Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help You
If you or your loved one was injured due to a clogged breathing tube in a nursing home setting, our medical malpractice lawyer in Bend, Oregon may be able to help you. Our lawyer will review you or your loved one’s case entirely, hire expert medical witnesses if needed, and will take the time to speak with you to hear about your case. Your consultation is entirely FREE, meaning you only pay our fees if we recover you compensation for you or your loved one’s injuries. Call our compassion Oregon medical malpractice lawyer today to learn how we can help you.
If You Suffered Injuries Due to a Clogged Breathing Tube Nursing Home Malpractice in Bend, Oregon, Call Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Help
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.