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Feeding Tube Complications

In some cases, it is necessary for elderly patients to use feeding tubes to obtain necessary sustenance and fluids when they are unable to eat and/or drink normally due to a medical condition. Feeding tubes typically consist of a thin tube that a doctor inserts into an individual’s nose and down into his or her stomach.

A feeding tube can be a temporary measure used to treat a patient during a certain illness or medical condition, or a more permanent solution, if the disability or condition becomes permanent. For a long-term feeding tube, a doctor can place a larger tube through an individual’s abdomen and directly into his or her stomach.

Feeding tubes can result in serious complications for an individual if nursing home staff and medical personnel fail to monitor him or her carefully. There is a heightened risk of infection when a feeding tube is placed, as well as the potential for pneumonia, dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea. While bacteria on the surface of the skin can be harmless, it can become very harmful or even fatal if it gets inside an individual’s body.

Prolonged usage of a feeding tube when it is not completely necessary can also result in a complete loss of functioning in terms of solid and fluid intake, as well as psychological problems. Furthermore, feeding tubes easily can become clogged with liquids, thus causing additional problems for the individual.

The loved ones of nursing home residents should understand that feeding tubes are only to be used as a last resort, and should be used only until absolutely necessary. The sooner a resident can return to eating and drinking normally, the less difficulty he or she can expect to have in doing so. Simply utilizing a feeding tube in order to more easily manage a patient is not an appropriate or advisable solution. If a nursing home facility does this, the results can be disastrous.

The Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan are here to protect your rights and those of your loved ones. We handle these types of cases on a regular basis and know the nature and extent of your legal rights. Fight back against a nursing care or assisted living facility that has caused you harm and get any compensation to which you are entitled.