November 1, 2012

In August, 2012, a medical malpractice claim was filed against a Santa Fe, New Mexico nursing home alleging that the staff of the nursing home negligently inserted a feeding tube in a 56-year-old resident that had been pulled out by the confused resident, by inserting the tube into her abdominal cavity instead of inserting the tube into the woman’s stomach. The misplaced feeding tube caused the woman to suffer an infection that required surgery and five days of hospitalization.

The incident occurred on May 14, 2010 while the woman was hallucinating and evidently pulled out her feeding tube while in a state of confusion. The woman was in the late stages of multiple sclerosis and was transferred to the nursing home two days earlier after receiving medical care in a local hospital due to a brain injury. Someone on the nursing home’s staff evidently attempted to reinsert the woman’s feeding tube into her stomach but failed to determine the feeding tube’s proper placement. The medical malpractice claim against the nursing home alleged that the attempted reinsertion of the feeding tube was not documented in the resident’s medical records.

The following day, the woman’s elevated temperature was noted in her nursing home records and her abdomen was found to be distended and firm. The tube feedings were discontinued and the woman was transferred back to the hospital where she was diagnosed with an infection and remained in the hospital for five days during which she had to have surgery to address her serious condition caused by the misplaced feeding tube. Fortunately, the woman survived her ordeal.

The nursing home malpractice lawsuit was filed by the woman’s daughter on behalf of her mother against the nursing home itself, the owners and operators of the nursing home, the nursing home’s administrator, and unnamed staff who were involved with the care of the woman at the nursing home. The nursing home malpractice claims are based on negligence and allege that the nursing home’s staff member who reinserted the resident’s feeding tube did so improperly and was inadequately trained to do so.


Like many nursing home malpractice claimants who were injured as a result of substandard, careless, reckless, or incompetent care from nursing home staff, it is doubtful that the Santa Fe, New Mexico nursing home resident has any recollection of the incident during which she evidently pulled out her own feeding tube and someone on the nursing home staff attempted to reinsert it but failed to do so properly. This nursing home malpractice case is a prime example of the need to rely on the nursing home medical records that are required under federal and state laws to be maintained properly and timely in order to determine what care was provided, when the care was provided, and by whom the care was provided. If nursing home care is not documented in the nursing home records, or the care is negligently or intentionally misrepresented in the medical records for nursing home residents, the causes of residents’ unanticipated decline, either medically and/or mentally, may never be accurately or fully known.

If you or a loved one may have suffered injuries or other harms as a result of nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, or nursing home neglect, you should promptly seek the advice of a nursing home lawyer (medical malpractice lawyer) who may be able to investigate your possible claim for you and represent you in a nursing home claim, if appropriate.

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