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Feeding Tube Errors

Description of Feeding Tube Errors

There are certain instances when the patient is so ill that he or she requires a feeding tube in order to receive necessary daily nutrients.  Feeding tubes are devices which deliver nutrients directly into a patient’s gastrointestinal tract.

Feeding tubes can lead to a loss of function and can cause medical and psychological problems, so feeding tubes should only be used in extreme cases where the patient is unable to chew or swallow; insufficient amount of staff members to feed each patient is not a valid reason for using feeding tubes.  Feeding tube errors may also be the result of improperly inserted tubes, which can result in serious injury or even death.

Feeding tubes are appropriate if there is a demonstrated medical need to prevent either dehydration or malnutrition.  As soon as the resident is able to take food by mouth, however, feeding tube use should be discontinued.  This will prevent the possibility of serious injury resulting from continued use of feeding tubes.

How to Treat Victims who Suffer from Feeding Tube Errors

The best way to treat the injury resulting from feeding tube errors is to prevent any errors from occurring.  Make sure that your loved one’s nursing facility carefully monitors the food given to residents via the feeding tube and that they do so regularly.  Further, determine whether the nursing home staff is trained on how to properly insert feeding tubes.

If you suspect that your loved one is put on feeding tubes without proper cause, notify the nursing facility immediately to discuss your options.  The nursing home staff should be monitoring the food given to residents.  Injuries resulting from feeding tube errors may be a result of negligence on behalf of the nursing home staff.  Finally, if your loved one regains her ability to chew and swallow, make sure the nursing home promptly re-evaluates the need for the feeding tube.

Also, notify Adult Protective Services (APS).  APS was made to help elder adults (65 years and older) and dependent adults (18 to 64 years old who are disabled) who are victims of abuse or neglect.  A list of Adult Protective Services’ contact information organized by California counties is provided here.

Lastly, contact your local ombudsman.  You can call their Crisis line at 1-800-231-4024 or visit the California Department of Aging website for a list of county ombudsman phone numbers in California.

Contact York Law Firm

If your elderly loved one has been injured from a feeding tube error, speak with an experienced elder abuse attorney immediately as you may be entitled to recovery.  Wendy York and her team of legal professionals can help you determine whether you have a valid elder abuse claim. We invite you to contact our practice or fill out a free case evaluation.

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