Patient Stopped Breathing? It Might Be Medical Malpractice

Attorney Michael Perez | 888-981-5602 | Free Consult

Helping patients breathe is one of the first things that nearly everyone in the medical field learns how to perform. Just a few moments without oxygen can cause brain damage or death. Intubation and extubation are forms of airway management. Even a small mistake in this process can lead to disastrous consequences. Do you know of a patient who stopped breathing while receiving medical care and suffered as a result? You should contact an attorney immediately. Learn more in this video interview with Michael Perez, a medical malpractice attorney based in Atlanta who has handled several of these types of cases. He can be reached by calling 888-981-5602 or by submitting a contact form on this page.

What are extubation and intubation?

Intubation, extubation, and airway management all refer to procedures that provide an airway to someone who is unable to breathe. This might occur when someone is receiving a surgical procedure and they’re put under general anesthesia. This anesthesia paralyzes the patient, which also paralyzes the lungs, so they will need assistance with breathing.

Is this an advanced medical procedure? Do all doctors know how to perform this?

Most medical professionals should know how to do this. For men and women working on ambulances, often the first responders to events like car accidents, they are trained on airway management. ER physicians are trained on airway management. It’s a core part of basic medical training. For many, it’s one of the first things they learn. There is no excuse for a physician who doesn’t know basic airway management techniques.

What sort of errors can occur during an airway management procedure?

Many things can go wrong if the physician doesn’t follow the correct procedure. They are supposed to first perform an assessment to determine if a patient is able to be intubated. If this isn’t possible, they need to figure out an alternative method. This is one type of error: failing to perform a full assessment, or failing to make a correct diagnosis. Another error can occur if the physician performs the intubation incorrectly. One common error: placing the tube inside the esophagus (which goes to your stomach) instead of the trachea (which goes to your lungs). Additionally, the tube may have been placed correctly in the first place, but then it became dislodged. The provider must continuously check to make sure it is in the correct position.

What are the consequences of a mistake during an airway management procedure?

Even a small error can have severe consequences. This is a life or death situation. The smallest change can stop a patient from breathing. Even a few moments without breath can lead to a traumatic brain injury.

Is this a form of medical malpractice?

It depends on each individual case, and like all medical malpractice cases, airway management claims need to be fully investigated to determine if malpractice occurred. This depends on if physicians used the right equipment, received proper training, and made the right decisions.

What should you do after an incident in the hospital where the patient can’t breathe?

Find a law firm or an attorney successful experience handling medical malpractice claims. Maybe something went wrong on the ambulance ride to the hospital, or the patient stopped breathing at some point during their stay at a hospital. If you have even the slightest inclination that something went wrong, call a lawyer. There’s no charge to speak with an attorney about a potential case. Since most attorneys work on contingency fees, you’ll only owe attorney fees if your case is successful. You must act fast. Hospital records tend to disappear shortly after incidents like this.

Will the hospital ever admit to making an error?

Unfortunately no. The hospital will not admit to making a mistake or admitting liability. You need someone who can look at the facts and assess the entire situation to determine what type of wrongdoing occurred. This involves a series of interviews with providers and examining medical records. A skilled and experienced lawyer knows how to go about this investigation, what to look for, who to talk to, and how to recognize the signs of medical malpractice. Contact Michael Perez by calling 888-981-5602 or by submitting the contact form on this page. Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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