PCA Pump Failures Causing Traumatic Brain Injuries Due to Oregon Medical Malpractice

When a PCA Pump Fails, Patients Could Suffer Serious Injuries or a Traumatic Brain Injury Due to Oregon Medical Malpractice


Pain management is a big part of patient care, particularly after a surgery.  This is especially true after major surgeries, where there are several mechanisms to provide pain relief to a patient.  One common way after a major operation is by a PCA pump, which is a “patient controlled analgesia” pump.  This is a machine that allows patients to inject pain medication directly into their IV line when needed.  It is the classic imaginary of “hit the button” to administer pain medication.  Although other times the PCA pump may be set to deliver a slow and continuous drip of medication to provide constant relief.


While this pumps are generally safe and have safety features or mechanisms built-in to protect patients.  Unfortunately, their miscalibration, misuse, or malfunction can result in serious personal injuries to a patient.  This is because the medication that is contained in a PCA pump is very potent and powerful, usually an opioid such as morphine.  If excessive doses are given to a patient, either recklessly or because the device fails, it can result in catastrophic personal injuries due to a medication overdose.


How PCA Pump Failures Occur


Most PCA pump failures causing serious personal injuries to a patient occurs due to a healthcare provider’s inexperience.  This is particularly true to new staff such as nurses or residents, but also to doctor’s who change specialities or whose hospital just received PCA pumps—either for the first time or new ones.  Errors with dosing are most common, but also administrating the proper drug in the first place.


Other failures by PCA pumps include when the pump itself fails.  While there are some safety features, if the pump is improperly working it can continue to release strong pain medication into the IV line without slowing or controlling it.  Other times pumps are broken and allow a patient to push the button too many times, effectively allowing an overdose.


Injuries from a PCA Pump Failure


When a PCA pump fails, the damages can be catastrophic.  This is because the pain management drugs like morphine or other opiates are very caustic.  In high concentrations, these drugs can damage the peripheral nervous system like the smaller, more susceptible nerves in your fingers or toes.  Other times the drugs can cause significant deterioration of brain tissue, either due to the chemical itself or due to the hypoxic condition it will create in the blood stream.


Unfortunately, not only can a PCA pump just save serious and debilitating injuries, but it can also cause a patient’s wrongful death.  This is because an opioid overdose, particularly involving morphine, is quickly fatal and sometimes irreversible if a PCA pump has been slowly overdosing a patient over the course of a day or longer.


PCA Pump Failures Can be Medical Malpractice or Product Liability Cases: It Must be Evaluated by an Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer


PCA pumps failures are caused by the negligence of either the healthcare provider or by the manufacturer.  This means that a patient who is seriously injured or wrongfully killed may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries.  Please call Kuhlman Law, LLC to learn how we can help you if you were the victim of a PCA pump failure.


We handle cases throughout Oregon and Central Oregon, including Deschutes County, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine, Madras, Prineville, The Dalles, Hood River, Clackamas, Corvallis, Albany, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tigard, Salem, Portland, Vancouver, Washington, Beaverton, Oregon City, Eugene, Coos Bay, Astoria, Newport, Pendleton, Tillamook,  Milwaukie, Gresham, Medford, and any other city, including Bend, Oregon where our main law office is located, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (541) 385-1999 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

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