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A Pennsylvania Doctor Was Awarded $927,000 After an Intravenous Line (IV) Caused Nerve Damage

by The Beasley Firm  |  June 21, 2011  |  

All Myriam Gastard, a postdoctorate fellow, research scientist, and neurobiologist, wanted to do was spend her life researching the possible causes of Alzheimer’s disease, but that dream was shattered after she briefly became a patient in a Pennsylvania hospital.

On January 19, 2008, Dr. Gastard was evaluated in the emergency room at Paoli Hospital for pains in her right side. Due to the fact that Dr. Gastard was recently treated for a kidney infection, a series of routine blood tests were ordered by the emergency room physician. As the emergency room nurse was inserting the intravenous (IV) catheter to obtain blood samples and then administer pain medication, Dr. Gastard immediately experienced severe pain in her hand and asked the nurse to remove the catheter. It was not removed. The painful IV catheter remained in her arm for the next 24 hours despite her complaints of pain.

After she was discharged from the hospital, Dr. Gastard was left with a loss of some feeling in her right hand. She was later diagnosed with nerve damage that required surgery to repair the damaged nerve. Unfortunately, due to the delay in diagnosing and treating the nerve damage, the surgery did not repair all of the nerve damage and she was left with numbness in her right thumb and forefinger in addition to a loss of hand strength.

At the trial, the hospital and the nurse admitted negligence but argued that Dr. Gastard did not lose any wages since she was currently employed as a product specialist. Yes, Dr. Gastard was employed after the nerve injury, but not in the position she trained and went to school for. Because of the nerve injury, Dr. Gastard could not perform microsurgery that was a vital part of the Alzheimer’s research. In addition, she was required to wear a brace on her extremity that was a non-sterile brace. Her career as a research scientist was taken away from her because nurses and doctors did not listen to her complaints. The jury believed Dr. Gastard and found in favor on her behalf.

The experienced physicians and nurses on staff here at the Philadelphia medical malpractice Beasley Law Firm are well aware that sometimes, during an IV insertion, a nerve may be hit in the absence of any medical negligence. Some patients have nerves that are in different spots than what is shown in anatomy books. Hitting a nerve during an IV insertion or blood draw may or may not be negligent. Not doing anything about it after the patient complains of pain may be negligent. The longer nerve damage goes undiagnosed, the worse the outcome may be.

If you or a loved one suffered nerve damage after an IV insertion, cath insertion or blood test, you need to contact a law firm that not only has the legal expertise, but the real working medical knowledge to help you. Since 1958, our experienced medical and legal teams here at the Philadelphia Beasley medical malpractice law firm have had billions awarded on behalf of victims of medical malpractice or hospital negligence. Our Pennsylvania emergency room malpractice lawyers are also here to help you. Please feel free to contact one of our physician attorneys, nurse attorneys or certified emergency room nurses for a free and strictly confidential consultation.

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