Typically, a quick and painless procedure, it’s estimated that drawing blood causes a nerve injury in around 1 in 25,000 cases.
Whether after routine blood tests, a blood donation, or hospital admission, if you feel pain or weakness after blood draw for an extended period of time, you may be wondering “Can I sue for nerve damage from drawing blood?”.
To answer this question, we have compiled a detailed guide on everything you need to know, from causes and symptoms to liable parties and the types of compensation you can seek.
We will also introduce you to our experienced personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein and explain how we can help you collect compensation after experiencing nerve damage from drawing blood.
What Is Nerve Damage?
Nerve damage, called neuropathy, is a medical condition that affects the nerve pathways in your body.
Depending on the type of affected nerves and the severity of the dysfunction, nerve damage can result in various consequences, from pain and discomfort to long-term disability and serious impact on your quality of life.
Treatment options for nerve damage after blood draw can include physical therapy, medication, or even surgery.
How Can Drawing Blood Cause Nerve Damage?
During a blood draw, a needle is introduced into your vein, at which time a medical professional should follow the established standard of care guidelines. If these guidelines are not followed, the result may be nerve damage.
The most common causes of nerve damage after blood draw include:
- Using the wrong size needle
- Using too much force
- Inserting the needle too deeply into the vein
- Moving the needle inside the vein
- Leaving the tourniquet on for too long
- Attempting to draw blood too many times
- Ignoring the patient’s complaint of discomfort and pain
According to the standard of care guidelines:
- The phlebotomist i.e. the person drawing the blood, should use the median cubital vein as a primary option due to the fact that it is not too close to the arm’s arteries and nerves. If, for some reason, blood can’t be drawn from the median cubital vein, the phlebotomist should use the lateral cephalic vein and the basilic vein.
- The needle should be inserted into the vein at an angle that does not exceed 30 degrees
- The needle should not be moved around in search for a vein
- If the patient complains of discomfort or pain, the phlebotomist should interrupt the procedure and remove the needle
- If there are two unsuccessful attempts, a second phlebotomist or a supervisor should be contacted
- For standard blood draw, the tourniquet should be removed within one minute
If a blood draw is not performed within the standard of care or an improper technique is used, this can result in nerve damage.
Symptoms Of Nerve Damage After Drawing Blood
The common symptoms of nerve damage after blood draw include:
- Sharp shooting pain
- Burning sensation
- Pins and needle sensation, known as paresthesia
- Weakness in the area where the needle entered your body
- Numbness in your arm and hand
- Muscle spasms
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms following a blood draw, contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to determine your options.
We will assess your case based on your experience and symptoms, consult with medical professionals and determine whether there are grounds for medical malpractice.
Can I Sue For Nerve Damage After Blood Draw?
If you suffered nerve damage due to negligence on the part of the phlebotomist or the healthcare provider after a blood draw, then yes, you may have a valid claim for compensation.
To prove medical malpractice, you must provide evidence that:
- The party responsible for your nerve damage was obligated to provide the reasonable standard of care
- The party responsible for the nerve damage breached their duty of care
- The breach of duty was the proximate cause of an injury
If you suffered nerve damage as a result of a blood draw, you may be able to file a claim or a lawsuit against:
- The phlebotomist or nurse who drew blood and
- The hospital or healthcare provider
The recoverable compensation you may pursue for nerve damage from blood draw includes:
- Economic damages, such as current, past or future medical expenses, expenses for household help, lost income or diminished earning capacity
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, PTSD and more
How Spar & Bernstein Can Help With A Medical Malpractice Case
Filing a claim or a lawsuit for nerve damage from blood draw can be challenging. In most cases, the phlebotomist or the healthcare provider will deny that they caused the injury, and attempt to prove that the nerve damage did not result from the blood draw but was related to a pre-existing condition.
This is where our experienced and compassionate personal injury team at Spar & Bernstein steps in.
We will research the details of your case, speak to medical experts, determine if there are grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, identify liability and prepare and file all the needed documentation within the legal deadlines.
After filing your lawsuit, we will represent you against the parties at fault and insurance companies to negotiate a fair settlement for the injuries you suffered.
If out-of-court compensation is not obtained, we will take your case to court to fight for a successful outcome on your behalf.
The secret behind our success stories is that to our team, you are never a number. We approach your case with professionalism and the utmost care, always taking your best interests to heart.
To ensure that every client has equal access to legal services despite their financial standing, our consultations at Spar & Bernstein are free of charge.
FAQs On Nerve Damage After Drawing Blood
1. How Do I Know If My Blood Draw Caused Nerve Damage?
To determine if you suffered nerve damage after a blood draw, watch out for a sharp, shooting pain or electric shock-like sensation up or down your arm. Try to recall in what location of your arm the phlebotomist inserted the needle and if your condition allows, take a photo of that area.
If you observe one or several symptoms, including pain, tingling and numbness, visit a doctor who can examine and diagnose your condition. Keep a copy of your medical results so you can show them to a personal injury lawyer.
2. How Long Does A Nerve Take To Heal After Blood Draw Damage?
Typically, nerve damage caused by blood draw heals within one to two months. However, more serious cases can take up to six months or longer to heal. Damaged nerves can typically regenerate at a pace of 1 inch per month, or 1 millimeter per day.
3. How Much Money Can I Get For Nerve Damage From A Blood Draw?
The compensation you could be awarded for nerve damage from a blood draw depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the damage, the time it takes to heal, the inability to fully recover from your damage and perform your usual and customary activities and the time you need to take off work because of your injury.
Serious nerve damage can result in thousands or millions of dollars in settlement money. Our personal injury lawyers at Spar & Bernstein will consult medical specialists to evaluate your injury, determine the extent of the injury and identify fair compensation.
4. Is Nerve Damage After Drawing Blood Medical Malpractice?
If your arm hurts after blood draw, you could have nerve damage, and subsequently a case of medical malpractice, or your arm could simply be sore from the procedure. Determining whether you have nerve damage is up to medical professional.
They may send you for a nerve conduction study, which can help determine which nerves in your body have been injured.
If your symptoms do not subside, contact our personal injury team at Spar & Bernstein for legal advice on what to do next.
5. How Long Do I Have To File A Medical Malpractice Claim?
The deadline to file a medical malpractice claim differs by state. In New York, it is 30 months from the date of the malpractice.
At The Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, our team will ensure that your claim is filed within the legal deadlines to ensure that your case is accepted. Contact our attorneys today to set up a free consultation.
6. Is Nerve Damage Following A Blood Draw Considered A Serious Injury?
Although the majority of nerve damage cases following a blood draw resolve on their own without serious consequences, 1 in 1.5 million cases can result in chronic disabling deficits.
Your condition will need to be diagnosed by a medical professional. If you believe that you have nerve damage after a blood draw, contact our personal injury team to set up a free consultation.
Disclaimer: attorney advertisement. prior successful results do not guarantee a similar outcome
Bradford H. Bernstein
This article was written and reviewed by Bradford H. Bernstein, a second-generation leader at Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, P.C., who has helped over 100,000 clients with immigration and personal injury issues. Brad joined the firm in 1993, became a partner in 1997, and assumed leadership in 2000 after Harry Spar retired.View Brad's Bio