$1.0 Million Settlement in Medical Negligence Action Against Hospital For Failure to Timely Insert NG Tube

The Plaintiff was an 83 year old female who was admitted to the Hospital with a small bowel obstruction ("sbo"). She had an extensive past medical history. As a result of the sbo a hospital physician ordered the placement of an NG tube in the event of nausea or voting. The Plaintiff developed nausea but no NG tube was placed. Later, the Plaintiff had bowel secretions which accumulated due to the missing NG tube. As a result, she aspirated gastric contents. This led to acute respiratory distress, hypoxia and many medical complications including sepsis, lung damage, multiple tracheostomies and hospitalizations. She ultimately survived. The hospital denied any nursing negligence alleging the nurse could exercise her own professional judgment to not place the NG tube under the circumstances. Further, there was no evidence that the cause of the Plaintiff's aspiration was the aspiration of gastric contents. Instead, it argued that she was at risk for and developed microaspirations into her lungs and that was the cause of the aspirations.The case settled for $1.0 million dollars prior to trial.