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Hospital "Tubing" Errors Can Be Deadly

Anyone who has ever been treated in the hospital knows how many tubes are involved, even for a minor surgery or emergency procedure. Unfortunately, as San Diego medical malpractice lawyers, we are also aware how often these tubes are involved in medical mix-ups.

Most tubing errors occur when one medical device is mistakenly attached to another medical device that performs a different function. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), because the connectors used to link various components are compatible between different medical device delivery systems, clinicians can mistakenly connect unrelated systems to one another, causing medication or other substances to be delivered through the wrong tubing.

As a result of tubing errors, patients can be seriously injured or even killed when medicines, liquid feeding formulas, or air are mistakenly delivered through the wrong tubing. In one example provided by the FDA, an infant in the pediatric intensive care unit had both a feeding tube and a breathing tube. The feeding tube was inadvertently placed in the breathing tube and milk was delivered into the infant’s lungs, causing a fatal injury.

To reduce the risk of medical error, the FDA highlights that it is vitally important that all health care clinicians receive appropriate orientation and training that emphasizes the risk of tubing misconnections. Patients and their loved ones are also advised to be aware of the risk and immediately alert hospital staff if they believe there is a need to connect or disconnect devices or tubing.

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious harm due to a tubing error or other serious medical mistake, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, please contact a San Diego medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.