Nursing home residents have a variety of healthcare needs which they inherently need help addressing given their admission to the nursing home. One difficult health condition for a frail, ill, or cognitively impaired resident is tracheostomy care. This is also an important health condition because complications with improper tracheostomy care could result in serious health complications including catastrophic infection, sepsis, and even wrongful death. Residents who are placed in a nursing home with a tracheostomy will require special attention that nursing homes and rehabilitation centers are obligated to render proper care. When nursing homes fail to care for tracheotomy patients, ask our Oregon improper tracheostomy care lawyers for a free case review to determine whether a resident’s rights have been violated.
What is a Tracheostomy?
A tracheostomy is the result of a medical procedure to create a hole in a person’s windpipe, or trachea. A tube is placed into the hole to provide an airway for the person. This also creates a port for healthcare providers to clear lung secretions which make it more difficult to breath. Thus, tracheostomies are performed on individuals who have difficulty breathing due to these secretions, damage to their windpipe, or where health conditions require use of a ventilator to help a person breath for an extended period of time. A tracheostomy is generally irreversible and a last resort procedure to ensure a person is able to properly breath.
Dangers of a Tracheostomy Due to Oregon Nursing Home Malpractice
Since a tracheostomy is a breathing tube, the most dangerous complication of a tracheostomy is when it is blocked, clogged, or dislodged. The breathing tube could become clogged due to food, drink, or more commonly lung secretions. Clogs due to mucus or saliva are particularly dangerous because it may not be immediately apparently these obstructions are causing a clog or decrease in oxygen flow. This means that a resident could slowly suffer from an oxygen deprivation or a resident could actually suffocate from a clogged tracheotomy tube. Even if a clogged tracheotomy tube does not result in the wrongful death of a resident, it could have life-changing consequences. This is because an oxygen deprivation could result in permanent brain damage which could rapidly spiral a resident’s health downwards.
In addition to breathing complications, tracheostomies must be kept clean. When a resident’s tracheotomy is improperly cared for, it could result in a serious infection in the resident’s throat, lungs, or throughout the resident’s body. These types of infections are very dangerous and can result in life-threatening complications including sepsis.
Oregon Improper Tracheostomy Care
While most nursing homes, hospitals, and other rehabilitation centers properly care for a resident’s tracheotomy, some nursing homes are understaffing, hire incompetent caretakers, or utterly fail to delivery the required level of care and treatment a resident deserves under Oregon law and federal nursing home regulations. There are many reasons why improper tracheostomy care could result in serious health complications which is why healthcare providers must deliver competent healthcare to residents.
Some of the most common improper tracheotomy care issues in nursing homes include the following:
Liability and Damages in Oregon Improper Tracheostomy Care Cases
Improper tracheotomy care should not occur in a properly staffed and medically-competent healthcare facility. When a nursing home or rehabilitation center fail to properly care for a resident with a tracheotomy and the resident suffers any complications, it is likely that Oregon law and federal regulations have been violated. This is particularly true of a negligence claim under Oregon common law, or judge-made law, which holds that a healthcare provider liable for failing to render medical care and treatment that is within the standard of care of a reasonably prudent and competent healthcare provider in similar circumstances. Since a reasonable and competent healthcare provider would not allow a resident with a tracheostomy to suffer certain injuries or complications, nursing homes that do may be liable to the resident and his or her family for damages.
In a personal injury case, damages are typically monetary compensation for the harm caused to the resident. This includes compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, future medical expenses, and funeral or burial expenses in wrongful death cases. Victims of Oregon nursing home malpractice may also be entitled to other damages due to improper tracheostomy care that are proximately caused by the malpractice.
Bend/Portland, Oregon Improper Tracheostomy Care 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.