Placement of an IV and the withdrawal of blood both require the puncture of a vein (venipuncture). This involves placing a needle through the arm, foot, neck or other parts of the body. In doing so, it is important to avoid contact with nerves.
The radian, ulnar and median nerves run close to the surface of the skin (superficial) in certain areas of the inner wrist and elbow. These areas should be avoided when placing an IV because of the increased risk of contacting or damaging the nerves. Other important arteries are also located near the inner elbow and puncturing these arteries can also cause serious injury.
IV Needle Contact With Nerves and IV Insertion Injuries
Patients who experience nerve damage from placement of an IV or other venipuncture usually describe a similar experience — a shocking sensation when the needle is inserted. When this occurs, it is important for the nurse to remove the IV and locate it in another area. If the nurse dismisses the patient’s complaint and continues to place the IV in the same site, nerve damage can occur. Such an injury is typically followed by prolonged pain, burning and possibly numbness or loss of function. Some nerve injuries can require long term pain management.
Long-term Nerve Damage From IVs
The nerve damage caused by IV insertion and/or venipuncture can be permanent and severe. Some patients lose feeling in hand and through arm or experience periodic or constant burning sensations. IV nerve damage can also occur in the central nervous system line and in the neck, but usually occurs in the arm and hand. Patients can also experience nerve damage with PICC line insertion above the elbow.
If you have experienced permanent nerve damage leaving you unable to work, suffering from RSD (reflex sympathic disorder), or complex regional pain, we can help. Our attorneys routinely collaborate with medical experts and will aggressively pursue maximum compensation for any nerve damage caused by your IV.
If you suspect medical negligence, do not hesitate to contact our Augusta, Georgia, lawyers. We offer experienced, strategic advocacy in cases involving IV nerve injury. Call (706) 432-8320 or contact us by e-mail for an initial consultation.