Six figure settlement achieved for woman who suffered nerve injury through negligent blood donation

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Sharon Allison, Partner and Head of Medical Negligence, has achieved a six-figure settlement for her client in a medical negligence claim concerning a negligent blood donation.

The client (PS) was a regular blood donor having given blood for a number of years before this event without difficulty. When the needle was inserted on this occasion, a vein was not easily found. The needle was pushed deeper into the elbow which caused PS extreme and immediate pain.

Following the donation, PS remained in pain and her arm was swollen. She encountered a loss of sensation in her forearm and was unable to sleep. She was unable to perform her job properly as she had impaired use of her dominant hand and she remained in considerable pain, for which she was taking strong analgesia.

Following tests, PS was diagnosed with permanent motor and sensory difficulties with her forearm and fingers and she would continue to have functional difficulties for the rest of her life.

Sharon Allison comments: “This case was not only concerning the negligent donation procedure itself but was also about informed consent. In the information PS was given and the oral explanations of the risks given before the donation, PS was not given the correct advice as to the risks to make an informed decision about the elective procedure she was about to undertake. The law on consent has changed in that it is no longer a matter for the medical professionals to make the judgement about what risks they think are applicable to the patient and advising them on the same. A patient should be told about all of the risks which a reasonable person in that patient’s position would attach significance to.

“PS in this matter had encountered a nerve injury from previous surgery years before therefore it was highly likely that had she been properly advised of the risks of nerve injury through blood donation, she would have placed significance on such a risk and would not have gone ahead with a donation. This was a voluntary procedure with the objective of helping others and was not something that she needed to undergo for her own health reasons. In those circumstances and based on her own medical history, she simply would not have given blood due to the relative risks to her.

“Whilst no monetary compensation can undo the devastating effects of a permanent medical injury, it will go some way to providing her with some financial security as she navigates life with such a functional deficit.”

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