Gregory Abrams Davidson Solicitors recover damages for injuries sustained by a child arising as a result of the failure to adequately administer fluids through an intravenous cannula. The Claimant, a child, suffered an extravasation injury when an adult pump was used and the treating clinicians failed to monitor the site.
What is an extravasation injury?
An extravasation injury occurs when fluids damage the surrounding tissues rather than enter the vein. This can occur when medicine is being administered to a patient normally via a cannula.
Facts of Case
At approximately 3 months of age, our client attended the emergency department at Warrington Hospital with a cough and breathing issues. She was transferred to the paediatric assessment unit on arrival and was noted to have an increased respiratory rate, moderate chest recessions and a PEWS score of 3. The diagnosis of bronchiolitis was confirmed and the Claimant was given oxygen to maintain saturations. In addition, she had a cannula inserted in her left hand to take bloods for venous gas, renal function, C-reactive protein, full blood count and for provision of intravenous fluids.
After approximately 15 hours, her arm was noted to be swollen. A tissue viability referral was completed. After consideration, it was noted that the cannula had caused an extravasation injury, leading to a small cluster of intact clear blisters to dorsum of the left hand and wrist, with associated bruising. There was also swelling to the left hand tracking up to upper arm. After receiving 4 days of treatment as an inpatient, she was discharged, with a referral to plastic surgeons.
Our client was left with a permanent scar measuring 1cm x 3cm. It is slightly raised with different colouration. There was however fortunately no impact on movement or sensation.
We obtained disclosure and a Letter of Claim was sent to the Defendant hospital alleging that:
- There was a failure to use an appropriate pump.
- There was a failure to properly monitor the infusion pump from the point of insertion until the time of detection of the swollen arm, including but not limited to the requirement to visually inspect the site of insertion and the area upwards.
- There was a failure to properly cannulate in accordance with Trust guidelines for peripheral cannulation.
- There was a failure to use infusion pump with appropriate paediatric guard rail.
The Defendant admitted liability in respect of breach of duty (failure) and causation (injury). Thereafter we investigated the impact of the injury both in the short term and long term and whether for example future treatment would be required. We obtained Expert evidence from a plastic surgeon that confirmed that our client would benefit from revision surgery when she was older.
Thereafter we negotiated a settlement on behalf of our client to include damages for her pain and suffering and funds to pay for future surgery on a private basis.