A scary story of medical negligence via a feeding tube, but one that can only be experienced in full horror by the man’s family that had to go through the pain and trauma of the realization of such a medical negligence horror. Unfortunately for the family of Mr Ward from Ireland though, it became a harrowing reality just how wrong a simple routine medical procedure can go, when left in the incapable hands of medical staff.
Mr Ward was admitted into hospital for a liver transplant, and in 2012 a feeding tube that should have gone directly to his stomach from his nose wound up inside his lung instead. Of course this caused fatal consequences. The nurse that was responsible for inserting the tube stated that he had no reason to think that the tube had gone anywhere else other than his stomach.
Since the case of severe medical negligence via feeding tube happened, the procedures behind inserting a feeding tube have been changed inside the hospital, but this doesn’t help the family that have lost Mr Ward. When the case was filed in court, the conclusion was that the patient had died due to a severe case of chemical pneumonitis, which was brought about from a liquid feed that went inside his lung after being positioned in the wrong place.
When questioned in court the nurse had said that the patient had been a little bit agitated, and had coughed a little during the procedure, but he had no idea that it was in the wrong place, and there was no cause for concern at the time. Additionally an acid pH test that was carried out by the nurse to determine if the tube was in his stomach, had been performed incorrectly.
The tube carried on feeding the patient for six hours, before he collapsed. Staff at the hospital called a crash team, and he was rushed into intensive care, but unfortunately it was not possible to recover him after the event, and he passed away the next day. Staff claim that the ward was busy, but that they were not under pressure and rushed off their feet when the incident happened. Since the event occurred, the hospital has withdrawn all feeding tubes made out of the same material, and have now introduced feeding tubes with a tip on the end, so that they can show up on x-rays.
It was determined that the nurse that performed the procedure, had not done so intentionally and it was an unintended consequence of an unintended action. That doesn’t make it any easier for the family of Mr Ward though.
Compensation will be issued after the incident for the family, but just how much compensation can compensate the lost presence of a loved one? It becomes a very interesting case and unfortunately one that is becoming more and more reoccurring in the UK today. Today it is medical negligence via a feeding tube, tomorrow, what can we expect?
One thing that remains for sure is that when you or a loved one are faced with such a scenario, and the very medical staff that are there to care for you when you are sick, are negligent, it is important to seek help and look for a medical negligence solicitor.