Who is responsible if a nurse couldn’t get my IV to start and continued to put holes in my veins?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Who is responsible if a nurse couldn’t get my IV to start and continued to put holes in my veins?

Went into outpatient surgery for a simple kidney stone removal. In preparation, the nurse who was to get the IV started couldn’t get a vein. She tried several times, blowing 3 veins before finally finding one that would work. After surgery, I was discharged and told to resume all medications which included blood thinners. Within 36 hours, my hands began to swell. I went to the hospital ER and they said it looked like an infection. I was give 2 RX’s and sent me home. Later that same day, the swelling got worse and much darker in color so I went to another ER. They said it looked like an infection so they hooked me up to IV antibiotics and suggested I go back to original hospital that did kidney stone. They discouraged me from being admitted in their facility. So I went and was admitted. For 2 days they administered IV antibiotics, wrapped my arms and finally had infectious disease people come in. They said it wasn’t an infection but the issue was from starting on my blood thinners too soon. Both of my arms swelled and filled with blood from fingers up entire arms. It was has been going on 4 weeks now and while the majority of the swelling is gone, I still have very little use of my right hand. I have had to stop going to the gym, am back on pain meds, have no appetite, don’t sleep well and have depression. Not only that, I will have hospital bills I don’t think I should be responsible for. The nurse apparently didn’t know what she was doing and I have no idea if she told anyone what she had done or not. This entire thing has put a halt on my life and my wife, who is on disability, is now having to do everything around the house and it’s taking its toll on her as well. What if anything can be done?

Asked on September 26, 2019 under Malpractice Law, Ohio


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.
The hospital where the nurse is employed is liable for the negligence of its employee which occurred in the course and scope of employment.
Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the hospital, it may be possible to settle the case with the hospital's insurance carrier.
When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss. Your claim filed with the hospital's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical reports document your medical condition  and treatment, and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills. Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the hospital's insurance carrier, no lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from that insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the hospital.
If the case is not settled, your lawsuit against the hospital for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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