What is the name of your state? Virginia
I am wondering if I have a case. I have consulted with an attorney, and talked with several nurses not in this direct field, who all think that there is a case. Long story short - my brother, 31, had muscular dystrophy and lost all on command muscle movement including talking and swallowing. He had a PEG tube placed for feeding purposes and was able to communicate by moving his head as we called out the alphabet. He was not mentally impaired in any way. He entered into a nursing home on 4/15 and got the PEG tube on 6/4. On 7/12 he got his hand caught on the tube and pulled it out.
Following pulling the tube out, the nurse placed a "button" in the site, and later inserted a foley catheter. This all appears to be normal, although the nurse faxed the dr, asking if they should replace or send to gastroenterology for replacement. The dr responded via fax "OK to try" The foley was replaced, however no testing to determine correct placement was done. At this time, feedings were resumed, actually increased by the dr from 4 cans to 6 cans/day this same day. Immediately upon the nourishment feeding, he began moaning in pain - 2 hours following this, he was taken to the emergency room.
Upon arrival, it was not thought that there was a surgical emergency. However, 5 hours later 2 doctors indicated that they had confirmed placement was in the peritoneal cavity rather than the stomach, and that emergency surgery was needed in order to remove the infection (Peritonitis).
8 days later he passed away, his death certificate and the death/discharge summary list peritonitis as the cause along with cardiac failure. Prior to this, he had some heart issues, but not this same type. His disease was characteristic of thickening of the walls of the heart, and it was documented in his semi-annual dr appts that his heart was stable with medication.
I am concerned because I have checked and the nursing home has a clear record with no incidents for this time period. Also - I complained about having to pay the holding fee on top of the hospital bill, as I was the person responsible for payment, and the nursing home & I got into a verbal dispute about this. I initially send something about a lawyer, and then did not pursue any further communication direct with the nursing home. The same day, the director of risk management for the health care chain (hospital, nursing home all the same) called me and within the week I was advised not to pay any bill I received. To me, that was an admission of wrong doing.
The lawyer that I have met with has advised that I will be charged approximately 2000 for a consultation with a medical expert to determine if a case can be filed. I am hoping someone will know if this seems to be a case. My gut tells me I have basis, but I am not educated completely on this, however I have found information indicating that placement must be checked and documented to ensure proper placement, this was not done in the medical records.
Thank you in advance for any assistance.