Man dies after hospital cannula mistake
What are cannulas?
Cannulas are tubes containing a needle that are inserted into the patient’s body in order to deliver medication or fluids.
Hospital cannula mistakes
Although inserting and removing cannulas is an everyday procedure, it is not without risk to the patient. While complications can arise which are unavoidable, hospital cannula mistakes are not uncommon.
Cannula errors include:
- inserting a cannula into the wrong vessel;
- failing to identify complications when they arise; and
- failing to remove a cannula on discharge (as was the case in this claim);
The compensation claim
Our client’s husband was admitted to St James University Hospital in Leeds following an episode of dizziness. A cannula was inserted by the paramedics.
When he was discharged the following day the cannula was still in situ. His wife noticed this and called the hospital. A nurse from the hospital visited her husband at home and removed the cannula.
However, approximately 48 hours later, he started to suffer from confusion and drowsiness, and he was re-admitted to St James University Hospital. His arm was swollen and he was given antibiotics to treat an infection caused by the cannula.
The infection caused the patient’s renal function to deteriorate. Despite remaining in hospital for two and a half months the medics could not prevent his condition deteriorating and he passed away.
A post-mortem established that the infection was likely to have been caused by the cannula that had been left in situ. At the inquest a consultant renal physician gave evidence that the patient’s decline in renal function arose from an infection caused by the cannula.
With the information gathered from the inquest Sophie Townsend of our medical negligence team was able to establish that death had occurred as a result of the hospital cannula mistake. This enabled Sophie to reach an out of court settlement with the hospital within six weeks.
For guidance on your hospital cannula mistake claim call the experts on 0333 888 0404 or send an email to us at [email protected]