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Trachea Tube Removal and Michigan Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuits

Our nursing home neglect attorneys in Michigan handle cases involving residents who suffer severe injuries, including death, due to the removal of their own tracheostomy tubes.  A tracheostomy is a surgically created opening in the windpipe (trachea) that can be used for patients who require breathing support with a ventilator.  Nursing home residents are often on ventilator assistance due to their inability to properly breathe by themselves.

Quite often, a nursing home will have a Ventilator Unit dedicated to residents who require breathing support with ventilators.  Most properly staffed skilled nursing facilities have respiratory therapists that treat these patients and suction the patient on a regular basis to avoid injury or harm.  Because these residents are medically unstable, it is essential that proper care and attention be given to the resident.

Unfortunately, our nursing home injury lawyers have seen situations where human error involving accidental or inadvertent removal of the tracheostomy tube results in permanent injury to the nursing home resident or even death.  In these circumstances, time is of the essence and the nursing home staff must timely and appropriately respond to the patient's respiratory distress.

We have also seen several cases in which the nursing home resident attempts to remove his or her own trachea tube due to other medical conditions or the inability to understand the consequences of this action, also known as self-decannulation.   Patients and residents who attempt to remove their own tracheostomy tubes require special care and attention.  This can include safety restraints and special hand mitts to prevent self-decannulation as well as constant supervision. 

The failure to provide these safety needs for the ventilator dependent patient on a trachea tube can lead to a nursing home neglect lawsuit.  The resident or patient can suffer significant harm from de-cannulation, including brain damage and even death.  In cases involving death, the family can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If someone you know has suffered injury or death due to improper trachea tube removal, you should have the medical records reviewed by our experienced medical negligence lawyers.  We will review the chart and determine if there is a case.  If the injury was due to a medical error, we will file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the nursing home or hospital on behalf of the injured patient. 

Cases involving trachea tube removal can result in significant settlements for the injured patient due to the severity of the injury and the long term consequences on the patient.  In addition to the pain and suffering and complete alteration on the life of the victim of medical malpractice, there may be significant economic losses as well.  These include the cost of continuing care, medical treatment, and funeral expenses.