A woman in Louisiana filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in August 2014, alleging that a physician improperly inserted a feeding tube in her, causing serious injuries. The medical malpractice defendants are the physician who inserted the feeding tube, two nurses, and the hospital where the alleged medical malpractice occurred.
The woman had been involved in a traffic accident after which she was transported to the hospital for treatment. She alleges in her Louisiana medical malpractice lawsuit that the defendant physician improperly inserted a feeding tube into her as part of her medical treatment. As a result of the improperly placed feeding tube, the liquid nutrients that were intended to enter her stomach instead entered her peritoneal cavity, causing extensive damage to her internal organs. The medical negligence caused her to suffer ulcers and become septic, requiring the extensive use of antibiotics to treat her infection; she alleges that she suffered a stroke due to the feeding tube error and its consequences.
The defendant nurses are alleged to have failed to properly monitor the woman’s condition and to have negligently failed to advise her physician of the symptoms indicating that her feeding tube was not emptying into her stomach.
The woman’s medical malpractice lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory damages for her medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and her past, present, and future pain and suffering due to the medical error.
How Does Tube Feeding Work?
The official term for the procedure that provides for “tube feeding” is percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, or PEG. PEG is a surgical procedure where a flexible feeding tube is placed through the abdominal wall and terminates in the stomach, allowing nutritional fluids, medications, and other fluids to be directly placed in the stomach in order to bypass the mouth and the esophagus. An endoscope is used during the procedure to guide the creation of a small opening through the skin of the upper abdomen that allows the physician to place and secure the feeding tube. A local anesthesia and intravenous sedative are usually used during the procedure and an antibiotic is given prior to the procedure. Patients undergoing PEG often are able to leave the hospital the same day or the next day.
The gold standard for confirming the proper placement of the feeding tube is to obtain a water-soluble contrast examination through the tube or to visualize the internal bolster or balloon during an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Other methods of confirming proper feeding tube placement include aspirating gastric or bilious fluid from the feeding tube, listening for a gurgling sound when flushing air through the tube, and performing a water/saline irrigation test that should have no resistance or pain when filling the tube with sterile water/saline.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injury or complications due to a feeding tube or PEG issue, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your situation for you and represent you in a medical malpractice claim, if appropriate.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.