One of the most controversial medical practices impacting patients of all ages is the use of feeding tubes. These medical devices are often used as a means to provide nutrition and hydration to residents who are unable to consume food on their own. Increasingly, however, nursing homes are resorting to the use of feeding tubes as a way to provide nutrition to residents. The issue is that families of nursing home residents are often not well-informed about the risks associated with the use of feeding tubes.
The Harmful Effects of Feeding Tubes
When a stomach tube is implanted in an individual, it can cause serious, harmful effects. Only in recent years have medical studies started to address the emotional impact that feeding tubes have on patients. Residents may suffer from depression and anxiety when they receive feeding tubes. They can experience sadness in realizing that they have lost a major functionality of the human body.
Family members may also not realize the emotional impact that feeding tubes can have on patients. Medical facilities need to ensure that family members are well-informed of these side effects. Before a medical facility determines that a patient may require a feeding tube, it may be necessary for family members or the patient to provide informed consent.
If your loved one received a feeding tube without your consent, then your loved one may have a cause of action against the nursing home. This may be a form of abuse or neglect depending on the laws in your state. You should make sure that you contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to review the legal remedies that may be available to you.
Diminishing the Quality of Life for Patients
Patients may suffer from depression when they are unable to consume food in a normal manner due to feeding tubes. Some patients also become extremely self-conscious about the appearance of a feeding tube. Before you decide to proceed in allowing a loved one to receive a feeding tube, it is important that you assess the ways in which a feeding tube may impact his or her quality of life. The loved one should also be informed of how his or her life will change as a result of receiving a feeding tube.
Going Against the Tenets of Medicine
Some doctors refuse to use feeding tubes at all costs possible. They may only resort to the use of feeding tubes when absolutely necessary. These medical professionals view the feeding tube as an intrusive and unnecessary measure.
Nursing home facilities often have different reasons for proceeding with the use of feeding tubes. They may choose to use a feeding tube as a way to expedite the discharge time of a patient. These facilities may try to get the patient out of the door of emergency care as soon as possible. Some medical professionals would consider this an unethical use of feeding tubes. Feeding tubes are also used as a means for reducing costs in nursing homes. Nursing home workers will no longer have to devote hours of their time to feeding an individual patient if he or she has a feeding tube.
Considering the Adverse Effects on the Patient
Even if a nursing home administrator is attempting to reduce costs, he or she should still consider the adverse effects of using feeding tubes in regards to patients. Patients may suffer from allergic reactions, internal bleeding or inflammation if they have feeding tubes. Instead of using feeding tubes, a nursing home facility should try to invest funds in hiring additional employees if possible.
Contact Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers for Additional Help
If you wish to learn more about the legal rights of patients in nursing homes, you should get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. A nursing home abuse attorney can help you to assess the best manner of proceeding when your loved one has been harmed.