Often times, the insertion of a feeding tube is extremely beneficial anytime an elderly patient does not have the capacity to consume sustenance through traditional methods. Unfortunately, carelessness or improper use often leads to a serious feeding tube complication. In addition, without proper hygiene protocols and infection control, patients that require assisted feeding can suffer serious consequences, leading to problematic medical conditions and even death.
The Chicago nursing home abuse / neglect attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have experience with a broad array of nursing home negligence cases in Illinois-- including situations where a patient has suffered an injury related to complications with a feeding tube. Contact our office for a complimentary assessment of a situation involving a feeding tube complication at a nursing home.
What Is a Feeding Tube?
In the medical world, a feeding tube is a device that transports nutrition to the patient’s stomach when they do not have the ability or capacity to consume food on their own. In some incidences, a feeding tube placement is a temporary or permanent solution as an effective way to treat an acute condition.
While there are different methods, there are two common types of tube feeding procedures. One involves a NG tube that allows nutrition to be transferred through the nose into the stomach. The other involves a NJ tube were nutrition is transferred into the small intestine.
Sometimes, when patients require long-term feeding, an incision is made into the abdomen, with a tube placed directly into the small intestine or stomach. Often times, feeding tubes are a medical necessity as a way to prevent malnutrition (see here) and/or dehydration (look here). Even so, it is essential to continuously monitor every resident with a feeding tube. This is because a feeding tube complication can quickly develop, causing dehydration, pneumonia, infection, diarrhea, vomiting or other serious side effect.
Feeding Tube Problems Related To Improper Placement
Improper tube placement is just one factor that can cause a dysfunctional feeding tube. Once placed, the tube needs to be properly and carefully managed to minimize the potential of numerous medical conditions. Tube failure can result in serious injuries or illnesses that include wound infection, insertion site leakage, or esophageal perforation.
In addition, even when the feeding tube is placed in the correct position, there is still a potential of dysfunction to some degree. Many times, feeding tube dysfunctions will result in:
- Unexpected repositioning of the tube
- Inadvertent removal of the tube
- Tube clogging
Anyone of these complications can cause serious consequences without proper cleaning and care throughout the entire use while inserted.
Nutrient Malabsorption In Patients With Feeding Tubes
When the patient in a nursing home fitted with a feeding tube is not properly managed, there can be serious nutrient malabsorption-- resulting in malnutrition. The nursing home staff must routinely assess the patient’s condition, and their ability to absorb nutrients properly.
When the patient is suffering from malnutrition, it is essential that the staff adjust the amount of nutrients received, or make changes in the tube placement. Often times, neglect and abuse in the nursing home by improperly trained staff can create serious health complications including diarrhea that is induced by the feeding tube.
Training Staff To Avoiding Serious Feeding Tube Problems
Friends and family members of patients in a nursing home being fed with the feeding tube need to understand how the process works. If their loved one looks malnourished, it is essential to ask the right questions and ensure that the staff is assisting the patient in preventing the potential of any feeding tube issue. The staff attending the patient needs to ensure he or she is positioned at the appropriate angle during feeding. This will avoid the increased potential of aspiration, where vomiting pushes the nutritional food back through the tube.
In addition, it is essential that the staff monitor the patient and look for any signs of dysfunction that includes infection or leaking. To provide the utmost care, there should be constant monitoring to ensure there is no misplacement or dislodging of the tube and that it is securely placed in the intestines or the stomach. This must be done prior to every feeding, a step that is typically overlooked by professional nursing home staff.Seeking Compensation When an Illinois Nursing Home Fails To Provide Quality Care For a Patient With a Feeding Tube
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have assisted victims of a feeding tube complication whenever there is a failure by the nursing home staff. The skilled attorneys can build the case on the failure of the nursing home in their inability to monitor the victim properly while being provided nutrition through a feeding tube. As skilled Chicago nursing home attorneys, the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can assess the merits of the case, and provide representation on the best ways to proceed legally. Call the firm at (888) 424-5757.