Modern medicine relies heavily on the latest technology available to diagnose, treat and monitor patients. In the process, modern medicine has been able to accomplish near miracles for many grateful patients.
But using powerful technologies designed to deliver highly specific treatments to a particular part of the body can leave little room for error. A treatment delivered to the wrong organ or part of the body can cause complications and in some cases even result in death.
Properly trained, licensed, and attentive medical staff is required to ensure that technology is used safely and effectively. They must take precautions to avoid any accidental misuse of these technologies that could result in poor outcomes or even outright disaster for the patients in their care.
If you’ve visited a loved one or friend in the hospital, especially after an operation, you may have noticed the number of electronic and mechanical devices that they seemed to be hooked up to. Often what results is a tangle of wiring and tubing that takes time to trace back to the originating device.
Many of these machines use similar looking tubing to deliver nutrition, medications, breathing and other treatments. Such conditions can provide opportunities for medical errors to occur. This may result in a member of the medical staff mistakenly causing a prescribed treatment to be delivered to the wrong system or organ of the body, possibly with disastrous results.
For example, in recent years, nutritional fluids meant for the stomach via a nasogastric tube have been wrongly connected to IV lines resulting in clogged blood vessels and causing fatal clots. In turn, IV medications have been wrongly delivered to respiratory devices resulting in suffocation. It is the tragedy of Murphy’s Law in the setting of high tech medicine: if something within the realm of possibility can go wrong – sooner or later it will. Understaffed and overworked units may be particularly prone to these mistakes, especially when the staff is interrupted or pulled elsewhere to cover emergencies with other patients.
For years there has been a movement among patient advocates to make the different types of medical tubing more readily distinguishable from one another so that these errors can be prevented to the greatest degree possible. Reforms are being made and others are in the works – including efforts to ensure that tubes for different purposes have different connectors and can’t accidentally be connected together. Unfortunately, not all the latest foolproof designs are yet available or in use at every medical center. In the meantime, patients who should be on their way to recovery can still suffer debilitating or fatal complications from these mistakes.
Contacting the Passen & Powell
If you feel that you or a loved one may have suffered adverse side effects or outcomes from a medical tubing error you should contact our law firm to speak with an attorney. Passen & Powell has successfully represented clients with medical claims for over 30 years. We have the experience you need to pursue your case to a successful resolution. The reputation of the Passen & Powell means we have often been able to achieve settlements by preparing and presenting our case without even having to set foot in court.
If your lawsuit does go to court, the issues and investigations, regulations and complexities that are involved require the most experienced and successful legal counsel and the team you can obtain. Explore our website to learn about the kind of expert and thorough representation that we’ve provided to our clients to win their cases in court and secure compensation for the injuries they’ve suffered. If your case should go to court there is no one you will want in your corner more than the experienced attorneys and legal team of the Passen & Powell.
Although our office is in downtown Chicago, we service all of Illinois and sometimes take out of state cases. Call us at (312) 527-4500 for a free consultation regarding your potential case. Or email us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.