Deadly Misconnections

Tubing misconnections are a persistent and preventable medical error in hospitals. Why do these tragic misconnections keep happening? A combination of a defective design and the lack of training for a known danger.

  • Deadly Design: tubes with different functions can easily be connected using luer connectors. Luer connectors are virtually universal, so an IV can be misconnected to a feeding tube or epidural line or blood pressure cuff.
  • Lack of Training: Hospitals know that IV misconnections are deadly and yet there is a lack of nurse training and education on checking, rechecking, and tracing tubing connections after any new connection or at the handoff process.
  • Safer connections available: There is still an unwillingness of hospitals and tubing manufacturers to follow through with IV connectors and other connectors that are not universal.

IV Infiltrations

IV infiltrations are also a preventable medical error in hospitals. IV infiltrations can cause serious injury such as compartment syndrome, permanent nerve damage, scarring, surgeries, and permanent disability.

Tubing Misconnections are a KNOWN Danger

HOSPITALS, MANUFACTURERS, and the U.S. GOVERNMENT have known for years that universal IV and feeding tube connectors can be easily misconnected causing serious injury and death. Some reported cases include: IV connected to epidural, IV connected to trach cuff, IV connected to nebulizer, IV connected to BP tubing, IV connected to nasal cannula, syringe connected to trach cuff, feeding tube connected to ventilator suction, IV connected to feeding tube, foley catheter connected to NG tube.

HOSPITALS, MANUFACTURERS, and the U.S. GOVERNMENT have spent years working on rules for new types of connectors that are not universal to prevent tubing misconnections. But, to date, this new standard is not being used by manufacturers or hospitals.

Hospital, Government, and Manufacturer Information on Misconnections:

FDA Warnings
Manufacturer New Design Plans
Joint Commission Warnings to Hospitals
Hospital Safety Experts
Hospital Safety Groups

Legal Help for IV Errors

What are your rights if a tubing misconnection or IV infiltration happens to you or a loved one?

It is very important to gather as much information as possible—such as what misconnection was made by hospital staff (example: IV misconnected to feeding tube) or what IV medication was infiltrated  and all the details about what happened like the names of the nurses or staff who spoke with you and the type of tubing, including the name of the manufacturer(s). Video or photos are very helpful, because evidence of the misconnection or infiltration can be destroyed. If a loved one has died, an autopsy is critical. Getting copies of medical records from the hospital is vital because any attorney will need to review the records immediately to find out if there was a misconnection or infiltration. You should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately to understand your options.

Linda Thomas and Michelle Wan have almost 50 years of combined experience in handling personal injury, medical malpractice, defective product and wrongful death claims against hospitals, doctors, manufacturers across the nation.

Linda Laurent Thomas



It is an honor and privilege to represent our clients in seeking justice.

Michelle W. Wan



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I think I have a legal claim. What do I do now?

A: If you think you have a legal claim, your first step is finding a lawyer to represent you. You can contact Thomas & Wan to discuss your claim by filling this form or by calling us at 713.529.1177. A lawyer will evaluate your case.

How do I know which lawyer to use?

A: When you’re filing a lawsuit, you want to use an attorney who has experience dealing with your type of claim and a proven track record of success. Ask your attorney what kind of experience they have, how long they have been practicing, how much time they spend on cases like yours, and any other questions you may have. Most importantly, ask your attorney whether he or she will be handling the case or will be referring it to another firm. It is important that you are comfortable with and confident about your attorney, and you should never be afraid to ask questions.

Why should I hire Thomas & Wan?

A: Linda Laurent Thomas and Michelle Wan have over 45 years of combined experience in handling personal injury cases across the nation. They are routinely asked to handle legal issues and difficult cases by other law firms. Ms. Thomas and Ms. Wan approach practicing law as a profession, not a factory where a client’s case is “flipped” or referred to another law firm. They handle your case with personal service and will be happy to discuss your case with you. Most importantly, Thomas & Wan gets results. Although there is no guarantee of success in any case, Thomas & Wan will fight for your rights and keep you informed of your options.

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A: Most personal injury firms, including Thomas & Wan, work on a contingency basis. This means that you only pay for our services if we win a verdict or settlement for you. If no recovery is made, you pay nothing.

Thomas & Wan has taken my case. What now?

A: The first part of the lawsuit process is called ‘discovery.’ In this phase, the lawyers for the plaintiff (you) and the defendant (the person or company you are suing) try to discover what evidence exists and how this evidence proves or disproves your claim.

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