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  • Wrongful Death – Negligent Insertion of NG Tubes and Failure to Consult Specialist: MacKenzie v. Henry Ford Health System

Sommers Schwartz attorney Andy Dragovic filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the estate of a man who died after doctors negligently inserted, placed, and removed NG tubes and failed to involve the appropriate specialists after problems arose. 

According to the complaint, the decedent’s daughter found him unresponsive on the floor of his home during a visit and had EMS personnel take him to the hospital. At the time, he was 86-years-old and living alone but could engage independently in most daily living activities. 

At the hospital, the decedent was diagnosed with varicella-encephalopathy. He also had the shingles virus. He was soon stabilized and seemed to improve though he remained confused. Due to his reasoning and thinking issues, hospital staff inserted NG tubes into the decedent for medication and feedings. 

Problems soon arose with the insertion and placement of the tubes. CT scans, x-rays, and other tests revealed several issues and complications related to the tubes, including pneumothorax. Ultimately, two of the defendant doctors ordered the tubes removed but gave no further orders to contact pulmonary or thoracic surgery specialists for consultation before, during, or after tube removal. 

Shortly after removing the tubes, the decedent experienced significant problems breathing, and six hours after their removal, he was found with no pulse or blood pressure. While CPR and other steps helped restore assisted breathing, a neurological exam showed severe hypoxic injury and brain death. His family chose to remove life support because of the lack of brain activity, and he soon passed away.

The medical malpractice complaint identifies numerous acts of negligence involving the placement and removal of the tubes and failure to properly monitor the decedent’s condition that directly contributed to the decedent’s death, including the defendants’ failure to have a thoracic surgeon evaluate and treat the decedent’s pneumothorax.

The decedent’s estate seeks compensation for medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses, pain and suffering, loss of society and companionship, and other damages.

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