In serious medical situations, patients require some type of ventilation procedure to survive or heal. Patients requiring assistance while breathing often need intubation performed by medical staff. Intubation involves inserting a long tube down the patient’s airway to connect it to a ventilator. However, the procedure is often extremely complex, which can lead to dangerous complications where even a slight mistake can cause severe, life-threatening long-term problems.
Injury to the patient’s airway can easily occur during many intubation procedures where the nasotracheal or endotracheal breathing tube causes injury when placed in position or removed. Despite precise intubation guidelines, effective protocols, years of training, and the frequency of performing the procedure by the anesthesiologist, catastrophic complications still happen resulting in serious injuries or death.
Proper intubation is far more challenging than other breathing solutions, especially if the anesthesiologist or other medical professional lacks the experience required to perform the procedure safely. Intubation complications often arise from common mistakes that include:
- Improperly placing the tube into the esophagus
- Perforating delicate tissue with the tubing
- Unexpectedly dislodging or disconnecting the tube at any point
- Over inflating the tube
In some patients, intubation complications can be quite severe, based on other medical conditions and issues. Some of these complications include:
- The patient has had a previous tracheotomy
- The patient has developed other conditions from prolonged intubation because of existing medical issues
- The patient’s throat or mouth is small or abnormally shaped
- The medical professional or anesthesiologist lacks sufficient experience or training to intubate patients safely
Patients often suffer various injury complications ranging from minor to severe. Some of these complications include:
- Irregular arrhythmia (dangerously quick heartbeat)
- Anoxic or hypoxic brain damage caused by significant intracranial pressure fluctuations or oxygen deprivation
- Vocal cord paralysis
- Injured or collapsed lung
- Laryngospasms and bronchospasms
- Injury or scar from premature extubation (removal of the tube)
- Dislocation or fracture of the cervical spine
- Perforated esophagus or trachea
- Injuries to the lips, mouth or teeth
- Nerve damage
- Infection or pneumonia
While many of these complications are treatable, some cause permanent impairment and can eventually lead to complication-associated death.
When negligence contributes to an intubation complication and the patient suffers significant injuries or death, it is beneficial to hire a medical malpractice attorney for legal assistance. A skilled medical negligence attorney will protect the rights of the victim and assist them in obtaining full and fair compensation. The lawyer will use proven investigative methods to determine every party at fault or responsible for the injury or death.Parties Who May Be at Fault in an Intubation Complication Case
In addition to the responsibilities of an anesthesiologist, paramedics, emergency room physicians, EMTs and nurses routinely perform intubations during transport/field situations and emergency rooms. Most medical professionals receive adequate training and follow specific airway management algorithms and protocols to assist them in making the best decisions during an emergency. Unfortunately, preventable errors happen when the medical staff fails to follow their training on how to manage an airway safely while the patient is being intubated.
Even a slight error where the patient is deprived of oxygen can cause serious, permanent brain damage or death. In addition, stroke and lung damage can occur from a faulty intubation procedure when the medical staff fails to monitor the patient properly.Hiring a Lawyer to Prosecute Errors Made By Professionals During the Intubation Process
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have experience in intubation and airway management negligent cases. Our law firm has represented many medical malpractice victims and has extensive experience in seeking and obtaining justice. We have the resources to obtain compensation for patients injured or killed by negligence.
Our attorneys have access to premiere medical experts available for consultation, evaluation and litigation of the case. Our law firm offers victims are extensive negotiation skills to obtain an out-of-court settlement for recompense or build a solid case to present evidence in front of a judge and jury.
To schedule a free, initial consultation to discuss your case, call our law offices at (888) 424-5757 today. We can discuss your legal rights regarding your intubation complication case. We accept medical malpractice claims on contingency to provide legal fees without any upfront payment. We are only paid for our services once we have secured your settlement or obtained your verdict at trial.