Incorrectly administered intra-muscular injection causing nerve damage

Posted by Gemma Osgood on

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On 9 June 2010, Ms C was admitted to Royal Hampshire County Hospital to undergo an eye operation. The operation went well but Ms C was told she would need to remain in hospital overnight to recover.

When Ms C came round from the anaesthetic she felt very sick. She was given some anti-sickness tablets but these did not make any difference. She was then given anti-sickness medication via an intra-muscular injection into her left buttock. Following this injection Ms C was in a lot of pain in both her buttock and her leg. She dismissed the cause of the pain as being associated with her recovery from the surgery she had that day.

The following day she was still in pain. Ms C mentioned this to her doctors but was discharged home.

Whilst Ms C was recovering from her eye operation at home she had ongoing severe pain in her left buttock and leg. She was unable to return to her work as a teacher due to the pain. Ms C visited her GP and she was told that the injection had probably hit her sciatic nerve and caused nerve damage.

Ms C mentioned this to the surgeon at her post-operative check-up in July 2010. He told her he would look at her notes and see what had happened.

Ms C remained in severe and constant pain and was eventually given an appointment for 21 January 2011, however this was cancelled three days beforehand. She was told the appointment would be rescheduled. Ms C was not happy and sent a written complaint to the surgeon in May 2011.

When Ms C eventually attended an appointment with the surgeon on 31 May 2011 she was told that he would organise for her to have scans and tests to investigate nerve damage to her left buttock. He informed Ms C that he believed she was probably suffering nerve damage as a result of the injection being incorrectly administered.

Ms C was still in constant pain which was affecting her sleep. She had returned to work on a reduced hours basis, but was finding this very difficult.

In August 2011 she chased the surgeon asking why she had not heard from him. She was told that there would be a formal investigation into what had happened.

Ms C was offered a place on a chronic pain management course. She felt forced to give up work in September 2012 as a result of the constant pain.

Ms C remained unhappy with the hospital response and complained to the ombudsman. Eventually in April 2013 she received a letter from the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) admitting there had been a breach of duty in the care she had received whilst in hospital.

BL Claims Solicitors were instructed by Ms C to resolve this matter and recover compensation from the Defendant. The evidence was clear that the injection had not been administered correctly, and the NHSLA admitted that this caused Ms C's injury. We made a Part 36 offer to the Defendant. Following negotiations, the case eventually settled for £110,000.

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About the Author

Gemma is a Senior Associate in our Clinical Negligence team with extensive experience in all areas of medical negligence claims.

Gemma Osgood
Email Gemma
023 8085 7248

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