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Medical Malpractice - Premature Extubation Can Result in Catastrophic Injuries

February 23, 2017

Medical Malpractice - Premature Extubation Can Result in Catastrophic Injuries

The Associated Press recently reported that 92 year-old former-President George H. W. Bush had been extubated and was breathing on his own. Merriam-Webster's medical dictionary defines extubation as the reversal of intubation, a medical procedure during which a tube is place in the windpipe (trachea) for anesthesia and medication during surgery, (ii) gastric suction or (iii) assistance whenever a patient is undergoing diminished breathing capacity. In former President Bush's case, the tube, which was hooked up to a breathing machine, had been inserted because he'd developed pneumonia and was having difficulty breathing on his own.

In most instances, intubation and extubation, generally referred to as advanced airway management techniques, are performed by anesthesiologists, highly trained professionals who have significant experience with the procedures and use specialized equipment. Knowing the appropriate time to extubate a patient is critical.

In former-President Bush's case, the medical professionals determined that he was breathing on his own satisfactorily. During a surgical procedure¸ intubation is more complex. The patient's lungs and trachea are temporarily compromised by surgical anesthesia. Generally, the patient cannot breathe on his own. Following surgery, the patient is monitored to assure that the anesthesia has worn off sufficiently to the point that he has recovered independent breathing capacity. Until that occurs, the patient's trachea and lungs may not be fully functioning. If the anesthesiologist takes the tube out too soon, the trachea may close, obstructing the airway and leaving the patient without oxygen. Should this occur, the medical staff faces a life or death situation that must be addressed within moments lest the patient become anoxic (characterizing a severe deficiency of oxygen in tissues or organs) and suffer irreversible brain injury or die.

Financial compensation, however, cannot fully replace the pain, suffering and burdens that follow an incident of medical negligence. Intubation and extubation errors are serious forms of medical malpractice that can result in catastrophic injuries and economic loss to patients and their families. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a medical mistake, you should speak with a Georgia Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Attorney at Montlick & Associates as soon as possible.

Contact Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, has over 38 years of experience providing legal representation to injured individuals from all across Georgia and the south. If you would like to discuss you or a loved one's injuries with one of our Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Attorneys, contact Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law today by calling (800) LAW-NEED (529-6333) to schedule your free consultation. You may also visit us online at, to complete a Free Case Evaluation Form, and you may also participate in a 24-hour Live Online Chat.


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Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.