Intubation is an important medical procedure that saves countless lives by providing an airway for patients to breathe. When physicians and medical staff perform the procedure improperly, however, or fail to intubate a patient in need of this treatment, the consequences can be disastrous. In fact, intubation errors can lead to hypoxia or anoxia, permanent brain injury, and even death.
Intubation is often needed when a patient is placed under anesthesia. But intubation is also often required when a patient is placed on ventilation, or needs assistance breathing. Simply put, intubation is designed to ensure that a patient maintains an adequate oxygen supply, keeping oxygen levels in the bloodstream up and preventing injury and damage to the patient’s brain and other vital organs.
Common Intubation Errors
Many common intubation errors result from the fact that the procedure has become quite commonplace, and thus has come to be viewed by many in the medical profession as routine. But, though common, the procedure is serious, and must be taken seriously if the patient is to avoid brain injury and death.
If medical staff fails to intubate a patient in need, or does so improperly, the patient’s oxygen levels will often become inadequate. The patient then suffers from oxygen deprivation, leading to mild-to-severe brain injuries, permanent disability, and death. Improper intubation can also result in a flow of air to the stomach, rather than the lungs. This error almost always results in the patient’s death.
There are many factors which lead to intubation problems. These include:
- Failure to have proper equipment available
- Failure to have proper staff available
- Unprepared staff
- Failure to act in time
- Failure of medical staff to contact the appropriate physician
Whatever the reasons behind them, intubation errors are always serious. If medical negligence was to blame, taking legal action against those responsible can help patients and their families to recoup some or all of the expenses incurred as a result of the injury.
If you have any questions about a serious injury after intubation, please give us a call us at 312-527-4500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary consultation. You can also learn more by following us on Twitter, reviewing our LinkedIn or Avvo.com pages, and by reviewing our website.