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want to sue aN NHS hospital for negligence

(77 Posts)
alypaly Fri 03-Dec-10 00:15:10

can anyone advise me how to go about it.
i was in hospital 3 weeks ago and a nurse has administered an anti sickness injection in my buttock and hit my sciatic nerve. i have been in pain ever since and it is getting worse. she did not take enough care when assessing placement of the injetion. I really would like heads to roll as i didnt have any pain in my buttock prior to admission

WestVirginia Fri 03-Dec-10 08:41:15

You need to see a solicitor today.

QueenofWhatever Fri 03-Dec-10 10:42:08

Is there a reason you want to sue, rather than make a formal complaint? The nurse would be held to account if you make a complaint, sueing is more about wanting (not always getting) financial compensation.

WestVirginia Fri 03-Dec-10 10:55:25

Hospitals take a legal challenge more seriously than they take a complaint.

marlowwills Fri 03-Dec-10 11:21:18

Good luck with that.

A close friend of mine wasn't properly monitored in labour and her child was born with severe brain damage. He eventually died aged 8.

When she tried to sue the NHS, she failed to get legal aid even though there was clear evidence of negligence.

I agree that lodging a complaint may make a difference. Suing, even if you're successful, is likely to take years and cost thousands.

How long is your pain in the buttock likely to last? Has your GP given you any idea?

alypaly Fri 03-Dec-10 12:42:20

went back to the doctors today as the pain in the centre of my bottom is getting worse. My Gp says it can take months if the nerve has been bruised. So i would have thought it would get better rather than worse. I am worried that the drug i was given has actually damaged the sheath round the nerve as i believe this can cause progressive damage.

queenofwhatever i have already made a formal complaint trhough PALS as i would like this nurse to be brought to book. And she needs re training so that she doesnt do it to anyone else.

if she has damaged my nerve...yes i do want compensation because there was nothing wrong with my nerve before i went in.If i cant play my sport or get rid of this pain surely they should compensate me.I didnt ask to be nursed badly

eviscerateyourmemory Fri 03-Dec-10 12:48:32

If you do take legal action I think that the NHS complaints process will stop.

You will need a lawyer to sue. Do you have evidence that the injection was given in the wrong place ie pictures of the needle site or has your GP documented the position of it?

BelleDeChocChipCookieMonster Fri 03-Dec-10 12:48:56

I sued my mother's hospital because they sent her home with an infection, she was so confused that she fell and shattered her femur. She fell again in the hospital and fractured her skull. She was left severly dehydrated and had I not have meddled she'd probably be dead by now. This is negligence. She needs a hip replacement now because of the damage that she sustained when she fell. I sued because she's lost 12 months of her life because of this, she'll never see my son leave primary school and she'll never see his christmas play.
I don't think that you should sue for this to be blunt, any procedure has risks. Hitting a nerve is a risk, not negligence. I would check out accupuncture though.

eviscerateyourmemory Fri 03-Dec-10 12:52:26

Hitting a nerve could potentially be negligence depending on where the needle was positioned to do it.

BelleDeChocChipCookieMonster Fri 03-Dec-10 12:54:12

It would be very difficult to prove though.

eviscerateyourmemory Fri 03-Dec-10 12:56:57

Could be.

Im not a lawyer, but my understanding is that if the injury is the result of a recognised risk in a properly consented procedure then the OP wouldnt be successful in any event, as she would have to prove negligence.

BelleDeChocChipCookieMonster Fri 03-Dec-10 13:03:26

I'm a lawyer (have a degree), I also worked in the NHS for a number of years. It would be very difficult to prove negligence to be honest. There is a risk with every procedure, even an injection. A spinal anaesthetic for example has risks, it can hit the nerve controlling the bladder and cause urine retention. It's well documented. Medicine is a science and things don't always work out as expected. There's a difference between this and negligence though.

Seek legal advice if you want to take this further, just be aware that it's likey that you will be advised no to take this any further though.

eviscerateyourmemory Fri 03-Dec-10 13:46:26

There is a risk with every procedure, but the procedure must be done to a reasonable standard.
It is important that IM injections are correctly placed, and if, as the OP alleges, that was not done, then she is potentially in a different situation than if it was correctly placed.

The link below isnt specific to the UK, but shows that follwing sciatic injury some people have been successful in suing.


Strictly Fri 03-Dec-10 13:56:32

When DD was born 2 months ago the doctor accidentially caused a spinal tap... She didn't tell me or indeed anyone this and I spent 3 days in agony with the headaches before the midwife noticed and I had to have a operation to repair the damage....

Despite missing the first 3 days of my baby's life and the terrible pain and needing an operation I never ever considered suing. The thought of taking money from the NHS when they can't afford cancer drugs sickens me frankly.

I have made a complaint and I hope the doctor will be held to account, but to make money from it? That would be just plain wrong.

Strictly Fri 03-Dec-10 13:58:07

Ps when I had the operation they requested her notes and she had written at the time she knew she had caused a spinal tap, but still decided not to tell anyone... So my complaint is that, not the actual tap which is a recognized possibility.

alypaly Fri 03-Dec-10 14:05:22

belle it is negligent because the nurses are supposed to place the needle in the upper outer quadrant on you bum and she stuck it in the centre where the sciatic nerve is. so she did not do her job as trained.thats not a risk,that poor administration

BelleDeChocChipCookieMonster Fri 03-Dec-10 14:08:41

You don't actually accumplish anything by suing. My mum just wanted an appology. The money is no subsitiute for the year of hell that she, and all of us, have had.

alypaly Fri 03-Dec-10 14:18:58

Strictly........if it deteriorates and i cant stand up for long periods or walk for long periods....i wouldnt be able to how would i support myself.They have injected me in the wrong area.They are guilty of malpractice. As i said earlier the nurse needs etraining so she doesnt do it to someone else but why should my quality of life suffer due to her carelessness

alypaly Fri 03-Dec-10 14:20:54

yeh belle i would love an apology from the nurse that did it. I know which one it was. She was offhand,rushed and had a really bad attitude.

i do alot of sport, badminton,tennis and skiing and it will hurt alot in a crouched position.
I am annoyed at the moment as i am in constant pain

alypaly Fri 03-Dec-10 14:22:15

i agree money is no substitue for a pain free existence but no income= no no existence. My job involves being stood up all day and that is hard at the moment and actually getting worse

BelleDeChocChipCookieMonster Fri 03-Dec-10 14:23:10

Your best bet is to report her to the Nursing and Midwifery council, they regulate nurses and will investigate her. They have the power to have any poor nurses struck off the register.

WestVirginia Fri 03-Dec-10 14:25:17

Many Public Services and Public Servants do not understand the concept of apologising when they make mistakes.

BelleDeChocChipCookieMonster Fri 03-Dec-10 14:26:36

The thing with compensation is that they won't give you enough to cover your lost wages as this is what benefits are designed to do. If you wish to make a claim then look for a reputible no win no fee firm as IIRC, the government were axing legal aid for personal injury claims.

It has only been 3 weeks. Have they done any nerve studies? MRI?

alypaly Fri 03-Dec-10 14:37:31

no not gp has put it on my records to have nerve conduction studies and then an MRI scan. He has just given me co-codamol 30/500 to add into the diclofenac.

i know its only 3 weeks but it is worrying when things are getting worse rather than better. i was told that the scar tissue at the injection site can increase and if it is right on the nerve it can get worse. I am really worried and annoyed.

thanks for all your comments....all are helpful

WestVirginia Fri 03-Dec-10 14:38:52

See a solicitor as soon as possible.

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