What are my options if I recently had surgery and the anesthesiologist stuck me about 20 times before they could get my IV in?

The hospital required me to have a pre-surgical consultation with the anesthesiology department which I did. At the time, the MD I consulted with determined that I was a difficult stick, which I already knew. She said she would put a note in my chart to that effect and that they should have ultrasound equipment available on the day of surgery. On the day of surgery, the anesthesiologist did not have the equipment and brushed off my suggestion that it was needed. After 3 or 4 attempts, he found a small vein that while not large enough for the surgery, was large enough to give me some relaxing medication. I woke up after the surgery with close to 20 holes between my two arms for a single IV.What are my options?

Asked on July 23, 2015 under Malpractice Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can certainly file a complaint with the state medical licensing board, against the anesthesiologist and/or hospital. But unless being "stuck" 20 times cauesed you to incur significant additional medical costs or some significant, lasting disability or impairment, there would no point in a lawsuit: in a lawsuit, you can only recover an amount of compensation commensurate (or related/proportionate to) the costs and injury you incur; without significant medical bills or injuries, you would almost certainly spend more, possibly far more, on the lawsuit than you would recover.


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