Nursing Home Clogged Breathing Tubes

Clogged Breathing Tubes



Clogged breathing tubes, similar to choking, can cause brain damage, and even death because the brain is deprived of oxygen. Nursing home residents with trouble breathing on their own may need a breathing tube. Nursing home employees have a responsibility to ensure a breathing tube and ventilator clear. While such an injury may appear to be accidental, nursing homes can be held accountable. If the choking occurred because the patient was not properly monitored and this led to a nursing home clogged breathing tube, it is the fault of the nursing home. If this has happened to someone you know, your loved one may have a nursing home abuse case. Contact The Carlson Law Firm to speak with an expert nursing home clogged breath tube attorney.

In addition to more than 40 years representing clients, we have one of the leading nursing home attorneys in the country, Ernest Tosh, ready to fight for you. Tosh takes fighting for the rights of our elderly citizens seriously. So much so, that he only takes on nursing home cases. Tosh, along with The Carlson Law Firm’s investigators and nurses are the team you want on your side. We can help you and your loved one get the justice for a nursing home clogged breathing tube that you so rightly deserve. Schedule a free consultation with our leading nursing home clogged breathing tube lawyer today.

What is a Breathing Tube?

A breathing tube is a hollow, plastic line that is put in place during artificial respiration to supply a patient with oxygen. This tube allows for the adequate exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. It is connected to a breathing machine (ventilator) or a breathing bag and is placed into the trachea. The breathing tube serves as an airway to let the air and oxygen from the ventilator flow into the lungs. A breathing tube can be placed either through the nose or through a surgical hole in a throat.

Although many types of tracheal tubes are available, there are typically three specific types of intubation:

  1. Endotracheal tube: a specific type of tube that is almost always inserted through the mouth or nose.
  2. Tracheostomy tube: Another type of tracheal tube that may be inserted into a tracheostomy stoma.
  3. Tracheal button: Is the rigid plastic artificial airway. It replaces the trach in the surgical opening. It is also the final step in the airways weaning program.

A breathing tube can get a clogged for any number of reasons. Nursing home staff must be able to inspect and identify clogged breathing tubes and clear them of saliva, mucus and other debris. Additionally, the staff must be able to make sure the patient is breathing and ensure the tubes are functioning correctly. Failure to prevent, identify or resolve a clogged breathing tube can result in oxygen deprivation. By essentially choking the patient, a clogged breathing tube will lead to brain damage, organ failure and even death. A nursing home clogged breathing tube lawyer can assist you with your legal options.

What is the difference in Endotracheal vs Tracheostomy


Both tracheostomy and endotracheal intubation are methods to help patients breathe. The primary difference is that a tracheostomy is a surgical procedure to create an opening into the trachea for long-term protection of airway.  With this type of intubation, a patient discharged from the hospital can continue to receive breathing treatments.

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On the other hand, an endotracheal intubation ensures breathing by inserting tubes through the nose or mouth. Endotracheal intubation is typically for short-term use.

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Causes of a Nursing Home Clogged Breathing Tube

A nursing home clogged breathing tube carries high risks for elderly residents. Statistics demonstrate that long-term care facilities with insufficient staff, poor training or management links to greater instances of life-threatening medical errors. A nursing home clogged breathing tube may not be intentional, but they are absolutely unacceptable. When a nursing home is understaffed or the existing staff is negligent, by design or improper training, these obstructions can lead to oxygen deprivation, cardiac arrest and other types of organ failure. Clogs can occur because of food, saliva or phlegm.

Pneumonia, asthma or COPD may cause difficulties breathing for the elderly. When these types of conditions occur, a patient may require a breathing tube. However, even with the absence of these conditions, staff may need to insert a breathing tube for a number of reasons. These reasons include increasing the amount of oxygen taken in, clearing mucus from the lungs, or keeping windpipes open.

If the nursing home staff fails to inspect for clogging or improperly inserts or removes the tube from a resident, it can cause serious illnesses and injuries. Because of the way a breathing tube works, additional breathing tube injuries include:

  • Injuries to the spinal cord or vertebrae
  • Damage to the teeth, gums, lips or mouth
  • Vocal cord injury
  • Pulmonary aspiration
  • Nasal trauma
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Arrhythmia
  • Tears in the airway
  • Early or sudden death

If your loved one suffered from nursing home clogged breathing tubes, call The Carlson Law Firm. No matter the nature your loved one’s injuries our expert nursing home clogged breathing tube lawyer can answer your legal questions and concerns.

Improper Placement or Removal of Breathing Tubes

Intubation also exposes nursing home residents to medical malpractice. Airway injuries can carry severe consequences for nursing home residents. Medical malpractice is also a possibility for nursing home residents requiring intubation. When a doctor or other healthcare professional involved in placing, maintaining or removing breathing assisting equipment, they can make mistakes. Those mistakes include:

  • Damage to the esophagus
  • Vocal cord damage
  • Delay in the treatment of infection
  • Improper management of airway collapse
  • Delay in replacing tubes
  • Improperly shaped tube for patient’s airway
  • Improper positioning

The improper placement or removal of a breathing tube can lead to vocal cord paralysis, granuloma, arytenoid dislocation, brain injury or death from inadequate ventilation, scarring, injury caused by premature extubation. If your loved one is a victim of complications from breathing tubes, call our nursing home clogged breathing tube lawyer, Ernest Tosh to discuss your case.

Preventing Clogged Breathing Tubes

Elderly residents in nursing homes have a high risk of clogged breathing tubes. Nonetheless, nursing homes have a responsibility to make sure staff is properly trained with the tools to check and monitor breathing tubes. Additionally, many states require nursing home staff to train on tracheostomy care. When patients are allowed to suffer injury or death because of clogged arteries, the nursing home or long-term care facility can be found legally liable to nursing home neglect or abuse.

Nursing homes have a duty to monitor every resident with a tracheostomy or intubation. Specifically, a nursing home should monitor:

  • Respiratory or pulmonary problems;
  • Choking;
  • Discomfort;
  • Signs of distress;
  • Vital signs; and
  • Any changes in the resident’s health or demeanor

When a nursing home fails to identify these problems and correct the problem, you can take legal action against the facility. Our firm can help you navigate the laws around nursing homes. A qualified nursing home clogged breathing tube lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm will get you the justice you and your loved one deserve.  

How A Nursing Home Clogged Breathing Tube Lawyer Can Help

Nursing home clogged breathing tube injuries may seem an accident, but you can hold nursing homes accountable. Choking usually occurs because a nursing home staff is not properly monitoring a resident. The Carlson Law Firm has a core value to protect the most vulnerable populations. A nursing home clogged breathing tube is a serious condition that can lead to lifelong pain and even death. In fact, clogged breathing tubes may lead to death. Our firm employs attorneys 100 percent dedicated to fighting for the rights of nursing home patients. A nursing home clogged breathing tube lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm will invest time, legal expertise and resources to recover damages.  

If you believe that a loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse you should take action quickly and contact us to set up a free consultation with a nursing clogged breathing tube lawyer. Someone from our team is available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.