We are attorneys who will help you find the best Illinois medical malpractice law firm for your case. If you would like a free consultation, please call us at 312-346-5320. For information on lawsuits from intubation errors, please read on.
Intubation is a common procedure in which a medical provider inserts a breathing tube into the trachea, or windpipe, of a person. The purpose of intubation is to maintain an open airway and get oxygen to the body. It can be the difference between life and death. Inserting the tube is a brief procedure, lasting only a few minutes. But a person can stay intubated (with a breathing tube in place) for days or weeks.
One of the most common reasons for intubation is abnormal breathing. It became well known with Covid’s arrival to our world, but is used for many other medical reasons. Heart disease, lung disease, and infections like pneumonia and sepsis often cause severe breathing problems. When the body is not able to properly inhale (to get oxygen) or exhale (to release carbon dioxide), healthy organs may stop working. Neurological damage, coma, or death may result.
Two big additional reasons for intubation are trauma and surgeries. Injury to any part of the airway, from a car accident or any other traumatic event, can affect how a person breathes. If emergency or planned surgery requires general anesthesia, the patient will be put to sleep and intubated. This enables the anesthesiologist to provide oxygen and medications during the surgery.
In most cases, a person will fully recover from intubation with no long-term side effects. It may take a few hours or it may take a few days. However, failed intubations do occur. Sometimes the medical provider performing the intubation accidentally places the tube down the esophagus instead of the trachea. They may unnecessarily delay the intubation or fail to properly assess the patient’s anatomical features and airway needs. They may not fully understand tracheal tube mechanics or how to use a laryngoscope blade. The medical personnel may have had a lack of communication.
Healthcare providers in the ER, anesthesiologists, and paramedics have specialized in training in successful and safe intubations. But when they make a malpractice error, and/or respond in the wrong way to that error, a patient can suffer from:
• Brain damage or death
• Damage to the lungs, throat, esophagus, or trachea
• Vocal cord paralysis
The biggest reason for intubation lawsuits are for catastrophic injuries from such as brain damage from loss of oxygen due to an obstructed airway or being disabled from a stroke or other injury. Whatever the reason, if you or a family member has suffered from being intubated improperly, contact us so we can connect you with a lawyer who has experience with these cases to investigate what happened and bring a lawsuit for you. The lawyers we recommend are the best of the best who have a track record of success an they only get paid if they win.