Advising with empathy and experience

Award of compensation for nerve damage caused by cannula.

The Claimant brought a claim against Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust in relation to treatment she received in August 2007. The Claimant had attended the hospital in order to undergo routine treatment for a chronic chest infection.

In readiness for undergoing the necessary treatment the Claimant required the fitting of a cannula. The Claimant had undergone similar procedures in the past and was aware that her veins may be difficult to locate. She advised the nurse of this and requested that a clinician with specialist experience carry out the procedure.

The nurse reassured the Claimant and proceeded with the attempt. She tried to insert the cannula at various sites on both arms but without success. The nurse then proceeded to attempt to insert the cannula into the Claimant's right wrist. In doing so, she inserted the cannula into the Claimant's radial nerve.

The Claimant was immediately in excruciating pain and was left with on-going problems. The Claimant has altered sensation in her right wrist and is hypersensitive to touch. The Claimant also has a heightened awareness of pain in her wrist. These problems have impacted upon her work and day to day activities. The Claimant has been unable to find a way to alleviate her symptoms.

The Claimant accepted an offer of £25,000 in full and final settlement of her claim. Speaking of the award, Helen Younger of the CNCI Team said, "this compensation reflects the considerable pain, suffering and inconvenience caused to the Claimant. Had the nurse listened to the Claimant and taken into account her concerns then this injury could have been avoided".