Emergency rooms are busy places that tend to be understaffed. The doctors, nurses and staff are often overworked with long shifts and many patients. This can spell trouble for people seeking help after a serious accident.
When workers are tired, mistakes can happen. One such problem is improper intubation. When a patient has a blocked airway, seconds count. Hospital staff will work quickly to intubate the patient. If they end up doing it wrong, they could kill the patient.
What is esophageal intubation?
Esophageal intubation can occur when the person trying to perform tracheal intubation misses the mark. Instead, the tube is sent into the esophagus, entirely cutting off the patient’s air supply. Within seconds, the patient’s oxygen levels plummet, causing them to pass away within minutes.
Though you may not have heard of it until now, esophageal intubation is a common error in emergency rooms. In a recent study of 300 emergency room intubations, 8% of those cases ended up with esophageal intubation. In each case, the tube was removed and repositioned to try to cover up the error.
It can be difficult to know, in a medical situation, when something was an “unavoidable error” and when it could have been easily prevented. If your loved one was permanently injured or passed away due to improper intubation, it is important to seek assistance from someone who understands the mechanics of a medical malpractice claim. The sooner you do this the better, as Iowa has a statute of limitations with regards to medical malpractice.