Patients expect high-quality medical care when receiving treatments from licensed physicians or when in the care of a healthcare institution. However, some healthcare professionals fail to maintain the legal standard of care for their patients, resulting in devastating injuries.
In some situations, patients injured through medical malpractice may require the use of a ventilator to help them breathe. For serious cases, some patients may require ventilator dependency 24 hours a day and need a place in a long-term care facility to monitor their health.
The need for a ventilator
A ventilator helps patients breathe when they are unable to do so on their own. These machines are not easy to maneuver, and ventilator dependence generally leaves a patient confined to his or her bed. Surgical errors could cause a patient to need a ventilator, with common causes including:
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries
If these injuries are temporary, patients may regain the ability to breathe on their own. The patient can suffer greater injuries and bodily harm in long-term use cases.
The additional damage from a ventilator
Spending an extended length of time on a ventilator presents additional healthcare concerns. With ventilator use, elderly individuals are likely to experience a drastically reduced life expectancy and a number of potential medical conditions. Infectious diseases and pneumonia are two of the leading health complications with extended ventilator use.
Long-term ventilator use can a patient’s lungs and create permanent difficulty trying to breathe. If a physical or medical facility violated the standard of care for your loved one and it left them on a ventilator, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim.