Injuries caused by an air embolism can be severe. If you or a loved one has been hurt by an air embolism, you need to contact a skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorney who can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we have represented many clients in medical malpractice cases and can apply our knowledge to use in your case.
There are 29 separate events classified as “never events” by the National Quality Forum, and one of those events is an air embolism. Never events refer to patient safety incidents that result in serious patient harm or death that are entirely preventable and thus should never happen.
An air embolism is a blood vessel blockage caused by one or more bubbles of air or other gas in the circulatory system. When an air bubble enters a vein, it is called a venous air embolism. When an air bubble enters an artery, it is called an arterial air embolism. These air bubbles can travel to your brain, heart, or lungs and cause heart attack, stroke, or respiratory failure. While air embolisms are rare, they can be deadly.
In recent years, patient fluid management and medication administration involving intravenous (IV) lines has become increasingly advanced. At the same time, the incidences of dangerous air embolisms and other adverse events associated with air in IV lines have increased. Between the years of 2007 and 2016, the number of deaths and serious injuries attributed to air in IV lines while using a pump or warmer increased by 400 percent, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The following are ways in which air can enter the veins and arteries through IV lines:
- A hole in the catheter or tubing: tubing can be damaged when scissors or other sharp objects are used around a central line, allowing air to get in.
- Improper priming: an air embolism can result when an IV tube is not properly primed or when the IV tubing is primed while it is connected to the patient.
- Improper removal or a central line: improper removal of an IV line can also lead to air entering the bloodstream.
Medical professionals are trained to prevent air embolisms and to look out for these potentially lethal situations. When an air embolism is a result of a medical professional’s error or wrongdoing, the patient may be able to sue for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice takes place when a medical professional’s conduct deviates from what a reasonably competent medical professional in the same speciality would have done under the same or similar circumstances, thus injuring or killing the patient.
An air embolism can result in serious health complications and even death for a victim. If this has happened to you or someone close to you, you may have a medical malpractice claim on your hands. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys are well versed in virtually all types of medical injuries, including those caused by air embolisms. We can examine your case and advise you accordingly. For more information, do not hesitate to reach out to us at 315-479-9000 or contact us online.
More Blog Posts:
Intubation Errors in Syracuse, Syracuse Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 30, 2018
Coma Injuries Caused by Malpractice in New York, Syracuse Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 23, 2018