It is common for blood tests to be conducted during routine examinations or visits for an acute or chronic issue, to allow a treating physician to assess a patient’s health. Typically, the blood is taken by a phlebotomist, a person specifically trained to draw blood from people. Phlebotomists collect blood from numerous patients each day, typically without incident. In some instances, however, a carelessly conducted blood test can cause severe nerve injuries and other harm. People who are victims of phlebotomist malpractice may suffer lifelong impairment, and the phlebotomist responsible for their harm should be held accountable. If you suffered injuries due to a blood draw, you may be able to recover compensation and should speak to a lawyer regarding your options. The dedicated Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group have the skills and experience needed to prove liability, and if you hire us, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf, to help you in your pursuit of justice.Injuries Commonly Caused by Phlebotomist Malpractice
Phlebotomists do not have to be certified under Maryland law. However, most hospitals and facilities that employ them require them to be certified. Prior to obtaining a certification, a phlebotomist will typically undergo training and receive education regarding the proper method for collecting blood from patients. This training often focuses on the correct manner of inserting needles, how many times a blood draw may be attempted on a patient and other technical skills. If a phlebotomist departs from his or her training or otherwise commits an error, it can harm the patient. For example, a needle that is inserted incorrectly may strike a nerve, causing damage, which can result in lasting symptoms such as pain, numbness, and tingling. In some instances, a nerve injury may ultimately cause the patient to suffer complex regional pain syndrome. Harm can also be caused by improperly used tourniquets, failure to prevent infection, and the use of contaminated needles.Proving Phlebotomist Malpractice Caused Your Harm
Phlebotomists, like other people working in the medical field, can be held liable for harm that they cause by carelessly performing their job duties. In many instances, the person or entity that employed the phlebotomist can be held liable as well. Generally, in a medical malpractice case in Maryland, the plaintiff will allege that the defendant or defendants acted negligently. To recover on a medical negligence claim, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant had a duty to act within the confines of the standard of care and that the defendant breached the duty. The standard of care that applies is the care that a reasonable person in the same specialty would exercise when providing treatment to a patient under similar circumstances.
The plaintiff must also demonstrate that the defendant breached the standard of care. For example, if the standard of care requires a phlebotomist to insert a needle in a different location or at a different depth to prevent nerve damage, and the defendant failed to do so, it may constitute a breach. Similarly, it may be considered a breach of the standard for a hospital to fail to ensure that a phlebotomist it employed exercised reasonable care in performing his or her job duties. Finally, it must be proven that the defendant’s breach of the standard caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. In other words, the plaintiff must demonstrate that his or her injury would not have occurred absent the breach. In the majority of cases, plaintiffs will need to retain multiple medical experts to prove their cases. First, they must engage an expert to explain the standard of care that applies to the defendant and how the defendant’s acts amount to a breach of the standard. Secondly, an expert will be needed to explain the harm the plaintiff suffered due to the breach and what care the plaintiff needed to undergo or will need in the future for the injuries suffered.Discuss Your Injury with an Attorney in Baltimore
Phlebotomists are not doctors, but they nonetheless are held to the standard of care of their profession and may be held liable for any harm they cause. If you were injured by a negligent phlebotomist, it is prudent to discuss your harm with a lawyer to determine what phlebotomist malpractice claims you may be able to pursue. The Baltimore attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are dedicated to helping people who suffered losses due to careless medical professionals pursue compensation in civil lawsuits, and we will fight tirelessly on your behalf. We regularly represent people in medical malpractice lawsuits in Baltimore, where our office is located. We can be contacted to schedule a conference through our online form or by calling 410-889-1850.