If you’ve ever been in the hospital, you may have undergone intravenous (IV) therapy. Intravenous means “within a vein.” Intravenous therapy is when the healthcare professional inserts a tube (also called a “catheter”) through your vein to deliver fluid or medicine directly into your bloodstream. Can you suffer injuries from your IV? And if so, could you sue for those injuries?
An injury that can occur with IV placement is referred to as “IV infiltration.” IV infiltration is when the tip of the catheter slips out of the vein, the blood vessel wall allows part of the fluid to enter the surrounding tissue, or the catheter passes through the wall of the vein.
Another injury is called “IV extravasation.” This term describes leakage of fluid or medicine in the tissue around the IV site. It happens when the catheter comes out of the blood vessel but is still in nearby tissue. It may also happen if the blood vessel leaks because it is weak or damaged.
Both IV infiltration and IV extravasation involve fluid or medicine leaking out of the vein and into surrounding tissue.
Another example of IV damage involves the wrongful administration of medicine. In other words, the healthcare staff inserts the wrong medicine through the catheter into your bloodstream.
The above IV placement problems can cause nerve damage, muscle damage, scarring, tissue necrosis, and injuries to your limbs and the rest of your body.
Can you sue for injuries from improper IV placement?
The healthcare staff should ensure that they’re giving you the correct medicine through the IV. They should also monitor the IV throughout your treatment to make sure the catheter was correctly placed and hasn’t moved. Failure to do so can result in the injuries described above and, if you can prove medical malpractice, you will likely have a successful lawsuit.
Medical malpractice is established when you’ve proven that: (1) there was a duty; (2) the medical professional breached that duty; (3) you suffered injuries; (4) that were caused at least in part by the healthcare professional’s breach of duty.
Healthcare professionals absolutely have a duty (1) to ensure proper administration of medicine and insertion of a catheter. Failure to do so constitutes a breach of duty (2). If you can prove that you suffered serious injuries (3) caused at least in part by the healthcare staff’s improper IV placement (4), you have proven medical malpractice.
If you believe you or a loved one were injured as the result of improper IV placement, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at VSCP Law.
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