What You Need to Know Before You are Hospitalized

We are lucky to be living in a society that has advanced medical devices and well educated medical professionals.  Each year, many lives are saved because of our medical advancements.  However, the medical devices and skills of the medical professionals are only useful when they are used properly.

The Specific Problem of Medical Tubing

Many hospitalized patients require various tubes to help them with breathing, eating or other critical functions.  However, the tubes can be easily confused and that confusion can be deadly.  If, for example, a nurse uses the wrong tubing to deliver food to the patient, the patient could die.

Last month, the New York Times reported that a 2006 study had found that 16 percent of hospitals admit to feeding tube mix-ups.  It is unclear how many other hospitals have experienced similar problems and not reported them.

How to Protect Yourself

If you, or a loved one, are in the hospital then you need to act as an advocate.  Question the nurse about the type of tubing that is being inserted and make sure that is appropriate for the intended use.  Don’t be shy about asking for a second opinion if you are not confident that the right tube is being used.

If you’ve already been hurt, or if you have lost a loved one, because of a tubing error then it is important to contact a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer for more information about your potential rights to a legal recovery.