Providing nutritional support through feeding tubes to patients who are unable to eat enough orally to sustain themselves is an important component of supportive nursing care. Feeding tubes that enter the stomach through the abdominal wall, or percutaneous gastrostomy tubes (PEG tubes), can cause serious injury or death if misplaced or become dislodged. Nursing standards require that caregivers check the proper placement before using the tube for any purpose, whether it is for nutritional support, medication administration, or hydration. Failure to do so can expose the nurse and the nursing facility to legal liability.
Walton Law Firm currently represents two nursing home residents who were provided tube feedings after the tube was misplaced or became dislodged, causing tube feeding material to spill into the peritoneal space. Both patients became immediately septic, and one, a 73-year-old man, died.