Clinical Negligence

Extravasation injury during an iron infusion, causing staining and pain and weakness in the right arm

This clinical negligence case arose from an extravasation injury during an iron infusion. There was a failure to identify that the cannula had been incorrectly inserted. Consequently, the claimant suffered an extravasation injury in which the iron infusion leaked from the vein into the surrounding tissue. This caused staining and ongoing pain and weakness in the claimant’s dominant right arm.

The claimant was anaemic. In October 2019, the claimant was referred to A&E by her GP for an iron infusion. The claimant attended the emergency department, and a cannula was inserted and bloods taken.

Whilst waiting for the infusion, the claimant noticed that the cannula in her right arm felt tight and painful. She spoke to a nurse, who advised that if the cannula was removed, it would be re-inserted into the same vein. The claimant decided that she did not want the cannula to be removed, just to be re-inserted into the same vein.

The claimant was then called for the iron infusion. She reiterated to the nurse that the cannula was hurting. The cannula was pushed deeper into the vein, and the infusion commenced.

The claimant was left unsupervised during the iron infusion.

Once the iron infusion had finished, it was documented that the iron infusion had leaked (i.e. extravasated) approximately 10cm x 10cm into the right arm.

She was subsequently advised by dermatology that she had hyperpigmented patches on her right arm following the iron infusion. This was classified as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation as a result of the iron deposited in the skin. It would not resolve.

The claimant right arm was stained. She experienced pain in her right arm and weakness.

We were contacted by the claimant to investigate a clinical negligence claim. Medical records were requested, and a witness statement obtained.

A nursing expert was instructed to report on breach of duty and causation. She confirmed that care had fallen below an acceptable standard, and caused the injury.

Over the course of the case, the claimant’s symptoms improved and it was considered that there were no longstanding injuries. Consequently, the claim was valued.

A letter of claim was sent to the defendant which set out the allegations of negligence, with an offer of settlement made.

A response was subsequently received from the defendant denying liability.

Our expert remained supportive, and a letter rebutting the response was sent.

Settlement negotiations commenced, and a financial settlement was agreed shortly thereafter.

Christina Mallery-Nelson specialises in claims relating to extravasation. If you would like to ask Christina a question about a potential clinical negligence claim, or if you have a general query about any personal injury claim, contact Christina at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701183 in confidence. We offer no win no fee agreements on the vast majority of our clinical negligence and personal injury cases.

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