I represented a good lady whose life got changed forever by hospital malpractice in Spartanburg. A trip to the emergency room for abdominal pain ended in her right arm being permanently crippled from the staff’s choice to use the wrong place to inject CT dye, which jets a highly concentrated solution into veins at an enormous speed. The tool used to do it is even called a “power injector.”
A nurse connected the power injector into our client’s wrist vein on the palm side. Our expert reported the wrist is never the proper place to put even an ordinary IV drip, and it’s especially wrong for a powerful CT dye injection. (The proper place is in the elbow area).
Compartment Syndrome Caused by Extravasation
As a result, dye shot through the vein wall and began flooding into our client’s arm, an injury called extravasation. The extravasation caused an extremely serious condition called compartment syndrome, where pressure inside the arm leads to muscle and nerve damage. It causes searing pain that narcotics don’t help.
Our client needed an emergency fasciotomy to save her arm. The surgeon cut her from the palm of her hand to her armpit to relieve the pressure. He let it drain for a day, closing it in a second operation the next day. She ended up in the hospital for 4 days.
The hospital’s poor choice left our client with permanent wrist droop and finger clawing that can make the most basic acts of living an agonizing chore. Its severity led to a third operation to lengthen her wrist tendons to give her more movement.
Still, she will always live with numbness in her forearm from the wound and permanent wrist droop and finger clawing the operations just couldn’t fix.
We settled the case for a confidential amount at a pre-lawsuit mediation required by South Carolina law. Settling at this early stage is unusual in these hard-fought cases. We presented a solid summary to the mediator and opposing counsel, clearly showing the hospital should never have treated our client as it did, along with a detailed chronicle of her human loss, including pictures displaying the gory detail of the suffering, crippling debilitation, and unfixable disfigurement that will hound her forever.