Residents of nursing homes generally have difficulty caring for themselves. Sometimes they are unable to care for themselves but not being able to eat or drink without assistance, or they cannot dress themselves, or have difficulty maintaining hygiene. One of the most severe instances why individuals may need nursing home assistance is when they can no longer breath for themselves. This could be due to a chronic disease or condition such as COPD or lung cancer, or it could be due to a more acute condition such as pneumonia or bronchitis. In either situation, residents depend on the nursing home to help them breath through use of a breathing tube. While many nursing homes properly competently complete this, other nursing homes may fail to safeguard a patient by keeping a clean and open breathing tube. Our Oregon clogged breathing tubes explain why this is dangerous.
What is a Breathing Tube?
A breathing tube is a tube that goes down your windpipe which feeds into your lungs. The tube may be placed down the nose or down the mouth. The breathing the may be attached to a ventilator or respirator which helps you breath by moving air in and out of your lungs. The breathing tube delivers the oxygen directly to your lungs and removes carbon dioxide. Breathing tubes are commonly used during surgery too.
Risks of Breathing Tubes
There are some risks of breathing tubes, particularly for nursing home patients. The most obvious risk if the breathing tube not being properly inserted into the windpipe. If the breathing tube is not properly inserted, a patient may actually have an even harder time to breath than if there was no breathing tube. This could cause serious injury.
Breathing tubes also can clogs. Food may block either end of the breathing tube. Saliva may also block a breathing tube if the breathing tube is not properly inserted. Once in the trachea, a breathing tube may also become clogged with secretions from the lungs. While these are natural, they can build up over time. Unlike your actual windpipe and anatomical structures, a plastic breathing tube cannot clear these obstructions and the breathing tube can become clogged.
Finally, the last common risk of breathing tubes is that it can become dislodged. If the breathing tube moves or shifts, it can leave the trachea and not deliver the oxygen that is necessary for the resident. This means that patients may suffer from an oxygen deprivation.
Damages from Clogged Breathing Tubes
A clogged breathing tube is a very dangerous situation. A clog does not have to be the entire tube or opening, and even just a percentage of the tube that is blocked could constitute a clog because it lowers the amount of oxygen coming in. The reason why the resident is using the breathing tube is because he or she cannot breath on his or her own. The breathing tube helps the nursing do that. When the breathing tube becomes clogged, it prevents the resident from getting that air. This means the resident will suffer an oxygen deprivation.
An oxygen deprivation means that the body demands more oxygen than the body is bringing in. Said differently, the body uses more oxygen resources than the resident’s lungs replenish. An oxygen deprivation will result in damage to tissue because the body cannot satisfy all of the body’s needs for oxygen. The damage could be slowly such as a minor oxygen deprivation, or the damage could be abrupt if there is a large clog and oxygen deprivation.
Therefore, a clogged breathing tube could result in damage from oxygen deprivation which could include the following:
Why Nursing Home Providers are Negligent When Clogged Breathing Tubes Harm Residents
Residents in nursing home rely on nursing home provides to care for them and to protect their health. Clogged breathing tubes are something that, even a healthcare provider is reckless, careless, or downright negligent in caring for, could result in serious personal injuries or wrongful death. Nursing home providers need to constantly check breathing tubes and monitor a patient’s open saturation levels. While not all residents need this level of care, a resident who has a breathing tube does. The truth of the matter is that oxygen saturation levels can be easily monitored with a basic piece of equipment that rests on a patient’s finger.
Nursing home providers who fail to clear breathing tubes or fail to even check on patients may be liable for personal injuries or the wrongful death of a patient who suffers damages from a clogged breathing tube. Victims and their families may have rights under Oregon law to compensation.
Bend/Portland, Oregon Clogged Breathing Tubes Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect contact the Oregon Nursing Home Abuse 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.
We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Nursing Home Abuse 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.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.