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Nursing Home Fined For Poor Care Of Patients’ With Feeding Tubes

Some of the most vulnerable patients in the nursing home community remain physically disabled patients with feeding tubes.  Reliant on staff for their nutritional needs, specific protocols must be followed: before, during and after feedings in order to achieve their highest level of functioning.

Poor Care Of Patients' With Feeding TubesI was reminded about the heightened vulnerability of feeding tube patients when I heard about how an investigation into the care of patients at a Connecticut Nursing Home revealed that staff were providing incompetent care to two patients at their facility.

The state’s investigation confirmed that staff at the facility allowed one patient suffer extreme weight loss and another feeing tube patient to suffer noticeable dehydration during an admission to a New Haven, CT facility, now known as Paradigm Healthcare.

With respect the malnourished feeding tube patient, a review of the patient’s chart suggested that the patient lost an alarming 20 pounds during a 30-day period.

Equally alarming was the similar mistreatment of patient with a gastric feeding tube who required a hospitalization due to dehydration.  A state report into the patient’s nursing home care determined that the nursing home staff failed to take any corrective measures when the feeding tube remained visibly clogged over an extended period — with multiple shift changes.

While fines were dispensed for these incidents of troubling care, I find multiple episodes of similarly poor care— at the same facility– to be appalling. Given the fact that the harm to these nursing home patients occurred over an extended period— where many different staff members were likely caring for these patients— there clearly is a systemic problem when it comes to properly caring for feeding tube patients.

As a nursing home lawyer, who has litigated feeding tube complication cases I find that many staff members fail to appreciate the potential complications related to tube feeding patients.  Similarly, I see troubling occurrences where staff  are in such a rush to work their way though the roster of feeding tube patients that they fail to take basic safeguards such as flushing out the feeding tube or keeping the patient elevated during feedings— which can contribute to serious complications such as:

  • Aspiration
  • Dehydration
  • Infection
  • Malnutrition
  • Death

As a result of the medical families’ staff responsibility to properly care for patients with feeding tubes— and ensure that the devices are safely maintained, any situation involving a feeding tube complication deserves to be analyzed from a liability standpoint to determine if legal action is necessary.

Learn more about the laws applicable to Connecticut nursing homes here.
Click on the links for information on nursing homes in New Haven, Waterbury and Stamford

Related Nursing Homes Abuse Blog Entries:

Improperly Placed Feeding Tube Results In Systemic Infection Of Disabled Nursing Home Patient

Failure To Keep Bed Elevated To Blame For Nursing Home Patient’s Death From Aspiration Pneumonia

Feeding Tube Mishap Results In Patient Death & Large Nursing Home Fine

Dysphagia In Nursing Home Patients May Contribute To Medical Complications Such As: Choking, Pneumonia Or Death

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  • Jane Dipaolo

    My son is a tube feed patient who cannot walk or talk.  He is allowed only 1 CNA to dress and brief him.   The 1 CNA who often does is has a MR level and weighs 100lbs while my son is 170lbs.  I find this so dangerous as often his site is bllody and he has had to go to the hospital before to have a replacement tube when she rolled him over and it yanked out of him.  he also is not allowed split sponges around the drainage and it has to drain on his clothes.  My soaks thru his clothing at least 3x’s a wk.  I am trying to get the laws to change in the State of Maine so he can be a 2 person care and not be treated like a bag of trash.  Any leads on the best approach to this?

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