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Old 17.04.2018, 07:05
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legal - accidental damage caused by hospital / doctor?

Does anyone know if doctors/hospitals in Switzerland have any liability for accidental damage they cause?


The hospital personnel accidentally damaged a nerve in my hand.


I was at a hospital a week ago, and they had to make an injection into the vein. I advised them that I have thin veins and it might be difficult to make the injection. The person missed the vein on the inside of left elbow. Then he tried to inject at my right wrist, but hit a nerve instead (which, by the way is extremely painful). After that, he asked another person to do the injection, and then they got it done correctly inside my right elbow.


The problem is, when the nerve got hit in my wrist, it was left damaged. I have been having random electric shock like pains in my thumb for the last week, especially when I try to pick things up. This is rather painful + plus I sometimes drop things because of the pain. Plus "pins and needles" and numbness now and then.


I understand that nerves don't really heal well which leaves a) I'll be in pain for the next 1...6 months or b) this will be a permanent damage.


Hopefully it's a) rather than b) - but would the hospital be liable for this, in case it was a permenent injury? Either for the cost of treating it (if it can be treated) or compensation for the injury, if it's permanent??


Any advice on what can be done and should be done from my side?


Thanks!
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Old 17.04.2018, 07:12
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Re: legal - accidental damage caused by hospital / doctor?

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Does anyone know if doctors/hospitals in Switzerland have any liability for accidental damage they cause?


The hospital personnel accidentally damaged a nerve in my hand.


I was at a hospital a week ago, and they had to make an injection into the vein. I advised them that I have thin veins and it might be difficult to make the injection. The person missed the vein on the inside of left elbow. Then he tried to inject at my right wrist, but hit a nerve instead (which, by the way is extremely painful). After that, he asked another person to do the injection, and then they got it done correctly inside my right elbow.


The problem is, when the nerve got hit in my wrist, it was left damaged. I have been having random electric shock like pains in my thumb for the last week, especially when I try to pick things up. This is rather painful + plus I sometimes drop things because of the pain. Plus "pins and needles" and numbness now and then.


I understand that nerves don't really heal well which leaves a) I'll be in pain for the next 1...6 months or b) this will be a permanent damage.


Hopefully it's a) rather than b) - but would the hospital be liable for this, in case it was a permenent injury? Either for the cost of treating it (if it can be treated) or compensation for the injury, if it's permanent??


Any advice on what can be done and should be done from my side?


Thanks!
If it requires treatment then you can likely claim something to pay for the costs. Compensation on the other hand is something you can forget about.
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Old 17.04.2018, 07:17
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Re: legal - accidental damage caused by hospital / doctor?

Cost of treating accidents is covered by your accident insurance, so you should speak to them.

No idea if you’d get compensation for an injury generally, though I doubt it here in Switzerland unless there is a serious impact to earnings (I.e. you can not work at the moment, and there is no sick pay available, or you have to pay someone to do your normal daily activities such as cooking. Even then, suspect the Swiss approach would not result in much compensation)

However hitting a nerve when taking blood, injection to vein, putting in an IV is likely to be considered a “normal risk” of the procedure. Even or indeed especially with rubbish veins and a warning to the doctor / nurse, it can’t be ruled out. With rubbish veins, the chances of having to try more exposed places increase....rubbish veins arenot your fault, not the doctor/nurse fault either, just reality.
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Old 17.04.2018, 07:43
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Re: legal - accidental damage caused by hospital / doctor?

Thank you!


Ok, I'll let the insurance know what happened.


Compensation - I had heard that this is now really done in Switzerland... (though personally, I feel that if I accidentally injure someone, it's also my duty to cover for the costs arising from the injury, and to try to make things right). Well, it is what it is.


I did not know that damaged nerve is considered normal risk for IV... ugh... this is putting me off any hospital visits ever. One learns something new every day..


Anyway, if it heals, it's not an issue. If it becomes a permanent feature, well, I'll be quite unhappy, I guess. Now I have this nightmare scenario in my mind, that if I ever have to jump out of an exploding building, then grab a railing to stop falling to my death - and then I slip, because my right hand doesn't work properly... ... If this ever happens, I'll be certain to come back from death and haunt the people at the hospital, that's for sure....
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Old 17.04.2018, 07:45
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Re: legal - accidental damage caused by hospital / doctor?

I've had nerves hit by nurses trying to take blood from my wrist (after failure in the arm). It's downright unpleasant, like a nasty electric shock, but it cleared up fairly quickly and certainly no lasting effects.
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Old 17.04.2018, 08:07
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Re: legal - accidental damage caused by hospital / doctor?

I have had such adventures with disappearing veins. Now my doctor's staff put a heating pad/water bottle for 10-20 minutes around the area they will be seeking a vein and now there is no problem.
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Old 17.04.2018, 08:47
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Re: legal - accidental damage caused by hospital / doctor?

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I have had such adventures with disappearing veins. Now my doctor's staff put a heating pad/water bottle for 10-20 minutes around the area they will be seeking a vein and now there is no problem.
I also have the disappearing vein problem, will have to suggest that, thanks.

Tom
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Old 17.04.2018, 08:59
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Re: legal - accidental damage caused by hospital / doctor?

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I've had nerves hit by nurses trying to take blood from my wrist (after failure in the arm). It's downright unpleasant, like a nasty electric shock, but it cleared up fairly quickly and certainly no lasting effects.


Yes, the experience was extremely unpleasant, nothing I'd recommend


Worse, I have now had this happen 10x times a day for the last week - not as unpleasant as the original one, but still rather annoying.


Heh - but as the say: shared pain is only half the pain, so... :P
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Old 17.04.2018, 09:00
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Re: legal - accidental damage caused by hospital / doctor?

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I understand that nerves don't really heal well which leaves a) I'll be in pain for the next 1...6 months or b) this will be a permanent damage.
Peripheral nerves tend to heal just fine, but it does take a while to transport the necessary 'equipment' to the site of injury. Usually you have the pins and needles for quite a while and then suddenly it clears up.
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Old 17.04.2018, 09:01
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Re: legal - accidental damage caused by hospital / doctor?

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I have had such adventures with disappearing veins. Now my doctor's staff put a heating pad/water bottle for 10-20 minutes around the area they will be seeking a vein and now there is no problem.


Great suggestion! I'll try it next time, thanks!!!
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Old 17.04.2018, 09:04
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Re: legal - accidental damage caused by hospital / doctor?

Was it reported to the hospital personnel at the time or shortly thereafter? If not I would go back to hospital or treating dr and have it recognised.

I was injured in the hospital and after confirmation, they have a procedure to follow to report the incident and then I believe their insurance covers the issue. After my incident, they proposed a number of things, including covering the pain killers, offering at home care/aid, etc. My injury was well known with not a lot to do thereafter, just time to heal. Seemed quite clear there was a protocol to follow for them and then the patient. This happened twice for me by the way in the same manner.
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