November 5, 2019

Client who suffered a permanently discoloured arm as a result of a negligent iron infusion secures settlement of £25,000

K was pregnant with her second child. During her antenatal care she starting taking iron supplements because she was anaemic and her iron levels were low. She later attended an antenatal appointment, where it was planned for K to have an intravenous iron infusion. K tells RWK Goodman that she was not given any information prior to the infusion nor was she warned of the possible associated risks. The midwife attempted to site the cannula into her vein on 3 occasions and each time was unsuccessful. A doctor was finally called to assist, and they sited the cannula on the first attempt. The midwife was left to supervise the infusion. The infusion took place over a 15 minute period. Within the first 2-3 minutes, K informed the midwife that she was feeling nauseous and dizzy. K also described a cold, uncomfortable ‘peppermint’ sensation in her arm. The midwife reassured her that this was normal and continued with the infusion.

Following the infusion, K was allowed to return home and she was not monitored for any period of time. 20 minutes after the infusion had finished, K noticed an area of brown discoloration on her upper arm that appeared like a bruise and felt painful. Over the next few days, this area of discoloration worsened.

Why was this negligent?

On behalf of K, RWK Goodman argued that the hospital had been negligent in failing to correctly site the cannula or identify that it had become dislodged, and failed to stop the infusion when K reported the ‘peppermint’ sensation in her arm.

How has this affected K?

K continues to feel pain and a muscular ache in her arm. She is less able to do activities, such as holding her son and carrying her shopping. She regularly takes paracetamol and ibuprofen to help with the pain. The discoloured area looks similar to a large bruise, and as such K finds it embarrassing when people stare or become concerned for welfare. As a result, K tries to cover the area by wearing long sleeved tops. She has also stopped going swimming with her son, as she is self conscious of discoloration on her arm.

How did RWK Goodman help?

RWK Goodman were able to successfully obtain damages for K in the sum of £25,000 which compensated her for the permanent area of discoloration and the ongoing symptoms of pain and weakness in the arm. Although there is no treatment available, the damages will help K fund camouflage makeup, as well as cognitive behaviour therapy and physiotherapy to manage the ongoing symptoms.

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