Many nursing home residents require feeding tubes in order to get the nutrition and hydration they need. While feeding tubes (also known as NJ or NG tubes) are necessary for some elderly individuals who have a hard time swallowing, they are often the last resort. Unfortunately, some nursing home workers use feeding tubes to help make their jobs easier.
When elderly patients take a long time eating and a nursing home is understaffed, it is not uncommon for nursing home staff to use feeding tubes with some patients so that they do not have to feed a resident or oversee the completion of meals. In order to reduce the number of patients they have to assist with their meals, some nursing homes allow the placement of feeding tubes even though residents may still be able to eat and drink on their own.
Feeding Tube Complications
Sadly, improper use of feeding tubes can lead to complications. Even if a nursing home patient required a feeding tube, nursing home workers need to monitor residents who are fed by tubes very closely because feeding tubes can lead to pneumonia and other infections that can be harmful to elderly individuals who already have compromised immune systems. Additionally, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and loss of function can occur with the use of a feeding tube. Because feeding tubes can become clogged —not providing the necessary liquid and food a patient needs—malnutrition and dehydration are also complications of feeding tubes.
Unfortunately, feeding tubes have led to permanent injuries and fatalities due to Florida nursing home neglect. If your loved one was injured or died as a result of a feeding tube complication in a nursing home, you may have a nursing home abuse and neglect case. To find out about your rights or how to hold a negligent nursing home liable for your damages and losses, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse lawyer. You can reach the Law Office of David Benenfeld for a free consultation at [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″].