Is there any recourse against a lab for taking blood soincompetently that I am still in pain after 2 hours?

I went to a lab to get a 3 hour blood sugar/diabetes test. This requires that they take blood 4 times. The first 3 went fine but then the lady had to go out to lunch so another person took over. This woman was horrible. She stuck 3/4 of the needle in and pulled out slowly until the head of the needle was in the right place. It didn’t work right the first time so she had to do it again on the other arm. I wanted to run out of there. I was sweating, dizzy and feeling nervous. It was painful to drive or even raise a french fry to my mouth. I am 45 years old and never felt like this before.

Asked on July 14, 2010 under Malpractice Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is when a medical care provider--including a lab--provides care that does NOT reach the expected or standard level of medical care or competency.

The problem is, sometimes there is malpractice--i.e. bad care--but no effective recourse. For example--you've been in pain for a few hours and felt uncomfortable. As a practical matter, that is not worth anything in a court in a law--lawsuits compensate people for out of pocket costs or serious pain and suffering, not minor and short lived discomfort. If you sued, you would not be able to collect any money, which means the cost of suing would put you behind.

(Of course, if turns out you suffer any longer-term consequences, or require medical care as a result of the lab's actions, that'll be a different story.)

You may be able to file a complaint with the state board or agency which licenses labs, lab techs, etc., and/or complain to the insurer or doctor who recommended the lab to you, but there is very rarely, if every, economic compensation for a few hours discomfort.


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