Topic: Medical Malpractice
When a patient cannot breathe on their own, they must be intubated to have air in their lungs. Intubation is needed in a number of circumstances both expected, such as when a patient undergoes general anesthesia, or unexpected, when an injury or illness prevents a person from breathing properly. A tube is inserted through the patient’s trachea and connected to a ventilator, which pumps air into the lungs. Intubation is fairly common, but there are a number of ways in which the procedure can go wrong, which can result in irreparable harm to the patient.
Doctors are thoroughly trained in the proper placement and maintenance of intubation tubes. Mistakes can happen, however, while the tube is being inserted or removed. This can result in perforation of the delicate lining of the trachea or even puncture of the trachea itself. Intubation error can also cause injuries to the mouth, teeth, or lips. It can also cause vocal cord paralysis, nerve damage, or infection. In some cases, the tube may be inserted into the esophagus instead of the trachea, which not only prohibits the lungs from receiving oxygen, but can cause serious esophageal injury. These injuries can be extremely painful and may require surgery to correct.
INTUBATION ERROR CAN DISRUPT OXYGEN FLOW TO THE BRAIN
Once the tube is inserted, doctors must keep a close eye on it to ensure that it remains in place and is successfully providing air to the body. Intra-operative x-rays taken before or during a surgical procedure will show the placement of the tube and confirm that it is securely in the trachea. Tracheostomy tubes must also be regularly suctioned to prevent fluid from entering the lungs. During the procedure, the anesthesiologist must keep a close eye on the patient’s oxygenation levels and other vitals to be sure that the intubation is effectively providing oxygen to the body. If the brain is deprived of oxygen for more than a few minutes, cells will start to die and the brain begins to lose function. Insufficient oxygen can severely increase a patient’s risk of stroke, brain injury, or fatality.
NEW JERSEY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYERS AT EICHEN CRUTCHLOW ZASLOW & MCELROY, LLP ADVOCATE FOR INTUBATION ERROR VICTIMS
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to negligent intubation, call the New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP. Our knowledgeable, dedicated lawyers will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is at fault for your injury and hold that party accountable for their negligence. With offices conveniently located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey, we help intubation injury victims throughout the state. Call us today at 732-777-0100 or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.