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Top Three Tips on Suits for Intubation Errors

Imagine this frantic scene at a hospital, “Code Blue!” Staff race to a patient’s side with a crash cart and in mere minutes the team must make decisions about whether to intubate or not. Intubation involves inserting a long tube down the patient’s airway to connect it to a ventilator. This blog will focus on three strategies for seeing if you have a basis to sue in this instance.

Was proper “standard of care” policies followed by the facility or staff? Is there intentional infliction of emotional distress? In the past patients were given higher doses of anesthesia to guard against the risk of them waking up during a procedure (yet unable to move or speak). Now doctors try to avoid giving large doses of anesthesia due to risk of higher side effects. As a result, there are now more cases of “accidental awareness during general anesthesia.”’ This terrifying experience often results in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or long-term psychological problems. Our third tip is explore whether your case of intubation was routine or if you had a medical issue that made risk of intubation error or injury higher. An overview will give more understanding into intubation in an easy to understand fashion.

The procedure is complex, which can lead to serious problems from even a slight mistake. Injury to the patient’s airway can easily occur during many intubation procedures where a breathing tube causes harm when placed in position or removed. The following are types of errors that may occur: placement, cutting fragile tissue in throat with tube, overinflation of 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.

Injury from complications of intubation may be minor or severe.Broad categories of some of these complications include: nerve damage, cardiac complications, respiratory issues, damage to cervical spine, infection such as pneumonia, damage to mouth or windpipe. While many of these complications are treatable, some cause permanent impairment and can even result in a preventable death.

When negligence contributes to an intubation complication and the patient suffers harm, it is beneficial to hire an attorney, like a medical malpractice attorney Chicago IL trusts for legal assistance. Attention to detail is important in these types of cases, as well as access to expert medical reviewers.

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.

If the patient was deprived of air for even brief periods, it may 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.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their sight into top three tips on suits for intubation errors.

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