A California nursing home was recently fined after state investigators determined that they failed to ensure a patients stomach feeding tube (gastrostomy tube or g-tube) was inserted properly.
Rather than delivering food and medication directly to the man’s stomach, the tube was delivering the materials to his peritoneal cavity resulting in inflammation, respiratory failure, septic shock– and ultimately the patients death. As a consequence of this nursing error, California officials find The Orchard Post Acute Care facility $75,000.
For patients with swallowing difficulties or other medical complications, insertion of a feeding tube may be necessary in order for the patient to receive adequate nutrition and medication. There are several different types of ‘feeding tubes’ that doctors may use depending on the patients needs.
A gastrostomy tube is place through the skin and the stomach wall, directly into the stomach. In order to make sure the gastrostomy tube remains in place— and into the stomach– some facilities mark the tube where it exits the stomach to ensure that it is not pulling out. When a gastrostomy tube gets pulled out of the stomach, the patient risks serious complications.