Many of the devices and instruments used to treat patients, administer medication, deliver nutrition and assist operative functions rely on tubing. Patients often rely on multiple devices such as catheters, intravenous lines and feeding tubes during hospital stays and the consequences of mismanaging the use of these devices can be devastating and grave. Whenever human error or lack of precautionary measures results in injury or death, it is the responsibility of the at fault employee and the hospital to provide compensation for the treatment of the resulting injuries and any out of pocket expenses that result from the injuries or their economic impact on the victim.
What Causes Medical Tubing Errors?
Medical tubing comes in a wide variety of forms and is used for a plethora of reasons and purposes. Whenever patients require the use of multiple tubing devices, it is possible for nurses and attending staff to make errors that result in medical complications or bodily harm. Examples of tubing errors include the following.
- Medications intended for IV use are administered through the wrong device— equipment such as nebulizers and epidural catheters use tubing that is similar to that used for an IV and if medication that should be administered through an IV is instead administered through a different device, it can cause severe complications that include adult respiratory distress syndrome, paralysis, meningitis and brain damage.
- Feeding formulas are connected to the wrong device— if a feeding tube were to be connected to an IV, the food would be transported directly to the blood stream rather than the stomach, where it could be digested properly. Similarly, if the feeding tube were connected to a catheter intended for dialysis, the food would be delivered to the peritoneal cavity and place the patient at danger of developing peritonitis.
- Connecting tubing meant for mechanical blood pressure control or air compression to an IV— when this occurs, oxygen is pumped directly into the blood, which creates multiple pulmonary embolisms and can quickly result in severe brain damage or death.
- Administering solutions through an IV that are intended for other lines or devices— complications can arise when improper solutions or medications are received through an intravenous line, placing the patient at risk of developing severe complications.
Injuries Suffered Due to Medical Tubing Errors
The impact of any medical tubing error varies depending on the type of error and the promptness in which it has been noticed. Conditions that may result from these errors include infections of the organs directly impacted by the lines, pulmonary embolism, adult respiratory distress syndrome, stroke, heart complications, paralysis, and brain damage and, in extreme cases, death.
Most of these injuries are the result of overworked and stressed hospital staff members who are in a hurry to move on to the next patient and who don’t pay complete attention to what they are doing. Whenever the injuries caused by carelessness forever change the quality of the victim’s life or have a drastic financial impact on the victim and his or her family, it is perfectly reasonable to demand that those responsible are held accountable.
If you are the victim of a medical tubing error, contact the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to speak with an attorney and learn more about your rights as a patient and how you may be able to recover compensation for the treatment of your injuries, your pain and suffering and any additional loss you have endured as a result. We will evaluate all of the details of your case and review your legal options with you during a free consultation and answer any additional questions you might have about the legal process, your odds of success and how best you should proceed.
It is our goal to provide our services to anyone who has been injured— regardless of their financial condition and for this reason we will never require payment upfront. We will only receive payment once we have secured compensation on your behalf and if we fail to do so, our services will be free of charge.