Call Now for a Free Consultation (312) 629-8800

Clogged Breathing Tubes and Complications Associated with Suctioning


A breathing tube is a catheter that is inserted into the trachea to provide a patent or open airway. This allows for the adequate exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Typically in a nursing home an endotracheal tube is used. The endotracheal tube is a type of tracheal tube that is inserted through the mouth or nose. The tube is then attached to a mechanical ventilator which breathes for the patient. As an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorney I know that patients with breathing tubes require skilled nursing care. If long term assistance is needed for breathing a tracheotomy will be performed. A tracheotomy is the surgical opening of the trachea to provide a secure an open airway. The patient with a tracheotomy should be monitored for signs of infection. They should also receive diligent tracheotomy care. The patient should be suctioned as often as necessary to remove excess secretions. Sterile techniques must be maintained throughout the procedure. Therefore it is necessary to have trained healthcare staff member caring for the nursing home tracheotomy patient.

 Tracheotomy Care Basics

The nursing home healthcare provider should provide skilled tracheotomy care. As a knowledgeable Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer, I understand that it is vital because inappropriate or inadequate care may lead to serious complications or death. Tracheotomy care includes cleaning and or changing the inner cannula, dressing changes and suctioning when necessary. It is also important to inspect the skin around the tracheotomy for signs of infection. Warning signals are erythema or redness, pain, or discharge.

Suctioning Tips and Precautions

Patients with tracheostomies lack the ability to cough effectively to expectorate or clear secretions. Suctioning raises the risk of hypoxemia (lack of oxygen), bronchospasm, and other adverse reactions. As a Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorney, I have handled cases that have dealt with the complications associated with suctioning include atelectasis (collapsed lung), dysrhythmias (heartbeat irregularities), increased intracranial pressure, and airway trauma.

Complications of Clogged Breathing Tubes

  • Airway Obstruction – Obstruction of the breathing tube by mucus plugs or excessive secretions that can cause respiratory distress and arrest.
  • Atelectasis or obstruction of the lungs may result from mucus plug obstruction.
  • Airflow Limitation or hypoxia can lead to brain injury or insult
  • Sudden Death

Free Consultation

We offer a free consultation to evaluate your legal case. It will cost you nothing to consult with a lawyer to see if you have a case. Immediate action should be taken to preserve evidence, investigate the accident and/or conduct in question and to file a lawsuit, when necessary prior to a deadline imposed by the statute of limitations.

No Fee Unless We Win Your Case

All our personal injury, workers' compensationwrongful death and medical malpractice clients receive a promise that if we do not recover monetary damages in your case, we will not charge you an attorney fee. If we take your case, we only get paid if we win your case.

If you or someone you love has sustained injuries or loss from nursing home neglect or abuse, contact Nemeroff Law Offices today. Our experienced Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available to speak with you directly.

Contact us immediately at 312–629–8800 or complete our online contact us form.