It is estimated that 40 to 60 percent of nursing home residents have issues with swallowing food and may begin to fail to intake their most basic nutritional needs. As a result, feeding tubes can be, at least temporarily, necessary to assist elderly people in meeting their nutritional needs. Even so, a feeding tube should be a last resort for patients facing nutritional challenges. Feeding tubes can cause psychological trauma, physical injury, and loss of function and mobility.

It should be standard care to only prescribe a feeding tube for serious nutritional need and then be carefully monitored for infection and complications. Sadly, unnecessary prescription and poor monitoring can lead to disastrous consequences. Potential complications include aspiration, constipation, diarrhea, fluid or electrolyte imbalance, GI bleeding, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), nausea, and skin irritation. More commonly, tubes become blocked or displaced resulting in dehydration and starvation. In most situations, proper patient monitoring makes these complications completely avoidable.

The most avoidable misconduct occurs when a provider prescribes a feeding tube unnecessarily. Caregivers in nursing homes have been known to prescribe feeding tubes because the resident takes too long to feed or eats too slow. In other situations, nursing home staff fail to remove a feeding tube after it is no longer medically necessary. This is unacceptable given the serious mental and physical ramifications. The dignity and well-being of loved ones should not take a back seat to the convenience of paid caregivers.

Nursing home abuse and negligence claims involve many complex legal and medical issues. Having the right attorney is essential to recovering what you deserve.

Our nursing home abuse law firm will do everything possible to assist you in obtaining the maximum compensation possible. More importantly, our firm will serve as an ally that will give you and your family the respect and compassion it needs. Contact us to protect your family today.

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