PCA Pump Malfunctions, Brain Damage, and New York Medical Malpractice

Anesthesia Errors, Opioid

PCA Pump Malfunctions: How it Can Cause Brain Damage and Why it is New York Medical Malpractice

A patient controlled analgesia pump, or PCA pump, is a device given to patients after certain surgeries.  It is a device which dispenses a certain amount of pain management drugs, including morphine, to a patient.  When at the patient is feeling more severe pain, he or she can active the PCA to administer more pain medication.  This is at the control of the patient, or within certain limits as there are controls for how much the patient can administer.  This allows a physician to set a guideline of what is safe and reasonable, but allow the patient to administer more medication if needed and within safe limits.  While these sounds like a great product, this does not mean they cannot result in New York medical malpractice.

Some examples of New York medical malpractice due to a PCA pump include the following:

  • The pump malfunctioning and dripping too much medication at a time;
  • The pump failing to control how many times the patient can hit the button;
  • When the pump malfunctions and boluses (or provides a large amount at once) of the pain medication, as opposed to a slow drip;
  • When the drip frequently is too high; and 
  • Many other errors.

Other errors occur due to the mistakes of the staff setting up the PCA pump, which include setting up the wrong medication with it, not checking for contradictions, setting the improper frequently, or bolusing.

The damages for this type of New York medical malpractice can be severe, as these injuries from overdosing of a powerful pain medication can easily be fatal.  Some common injuries due to a PCA pump failure include the following:

  • Brain injuries, including brain bleeds, brain damage, and other severe brain injuries impairing function, memory, and/or causing serious headaches;
  • Liver damage;
  • Kidney damage
  • Eyesight damage, including partial or total vision loss;
  • Damage to the lungs or heart due to the medication;
  • Peripheral neuropathy, including damage to the nerves of the fingers and toes; and
  • Wrongful  death.

If a PCA pump fails, the healthcare providers may try to blame the manufacturer or another entity.  But in reality, they set up the pump which failed and caused the severe injuries.  Do not let this change your opinion what to do.  Contact a New York medical malpractice lawyer and find them accountable for their actions.  Shouldn’t they be liable?  Of course!

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.