Columbia Nursing Homes: Liability for Feeding Tube Injuries

February 24, 2022

Our elderly loved ones often face medical issues as they grow older. This is why it is of utmost importance for Columbia nursing homes to provide professional and well-managed medical care for their in-house patients, as small incidents of negligence can lead to huge consequences that may even be life-threatening. Staff in Columbia nursing homes must be aware of all medical procedures and safety rules that are required to keep patients safe and healthy.

With any surgical procedures or potentially life-threatening medical conditions, it is highly possible that your elderly parent will require a feeding tube. A feeding tube is a medical device installed by your doctor that helps provide nutrition and liquid food to the patient, directly supplied to the stomach and digestive system.

This is done when regular eating or chewing is not possible for a range of reasons. Especially when bed-ridden or recovering from a surgery or illness, patients of all ages are given surgical tubes to provide food and energy to the body.

If your loved one suffers injuries or complications related to a feed tube, is the nursing home liable?

The Risks of Feeding Tubes:

Because feeding tubes bypass the natural method of digestion and intake of food, there are several risks involved. Staff members at Columbia nursing homes, as well as family members, must be aware of these to ensure that feeding tubes are used correctly and any hazards are avoided. This process is called enteral nutrition and can have medical consequences if not correctly taken care of.

Some of the risks involved in feeding tubes include:

  • Surgical Risks:

Installing a feeding tube involves a minor surgical procedure that comes with its own risks. Additionally, doctors and families always have the concern of a patient’s body rejecting the feeding tube and having an adverse reaction to it. Only a professional medical practitioner can help you avoid such surgical risks.

  • Malfunctioning of the Feeding Tube:

If the feeding tube is not properly working, it can become clogged or lead to other malfunctions that can have a seriously adverse effect on the patient. Therefore, feeding tubes must be checked and tested individually before placement.

  • Pressure and Sores:

For a feeding tube to provide liquid nutrition, the patient needs to be laying down flat. In some cases, the uneven pressure from a tube can be lead to sores or injuries due to pressure. These can lead to further complications.

The Need for Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Negligence Cases and Liability:

For nursing homes that house elderly patients using feeding tubes, it is necessary to have medical professionals that are compliant with the required safety procedures of installing and using feeding tubes. In any case, negligence or faulty implementation of feeding tubes can seriously risk the life and health of your elderly family members.

In this case, you and your family may be eligible for compensation. Some instances where Columbia nursing homes can be held include:

Clogged or Blocked Tubes:

Before a feeding tube is installed, and after every time it is used, the tube itself must be flushed and cleaned chemically to make sure it does not become clogged. If the staff at a nursing home fails to do so, then the patient may require emergency surgery. A clogged feeding tube can also cause dehydration and improper nutrition or administration of medicines and drugs. This can have long-term consequences.

Wrong Medications:

Often, those patients that require feeding tubes cannot take medication or pills orally or might need specific medication added into the feeding tube. However, not all oral medicines can be fed through a feeding tube. Similarly, using multiple medicines through a feeding tube can have adverse effects due to the reaction of chemicals. Medicines work in different ways, and using the incorrect method can seriously harm a patient.

Incorrectly Installed Feeding Tubes:

Installing a feeding tube into the human body should be done carefully because the simplest error can lead to liquid food being fed into other parts of the body and causing damage, such as the lungs if the tube is passed through the bronchial tree. If a medical professional fails to install it right, it is sheer negligence and incompetence and can pose serious threats.

Dislodged Feeding Tubes:

Due to improper movement or bad installation, feeding tubes can become dislodged. It is never right for a nurse to try to put it back; only a professional doctor can be allowed to do so. A dislodged tube can cause severe malnutrition and even death.

Protect Your Family’s Health With Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers:

If you or your family member faces injury or health hazards at the hands of Columbia nursing home staff, you need to take strict and swift action to be duly compensated and hold such nursing homes accountable. Contact Connell Law today to pursue your case with the state’s top nursing home neglect attorneys.