Injection Causes Sciatica Lawsuit

Frank v. Johns Hopkins Hospital

Intramuscular InjectionThis medical malpractice claim was filed in Baltimore City against Johns Hopkins after a negligent intramuscular injection caused permanent nerve damage. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on March 8, 2018, and it is the 113th medical malpractice case filed in Maryland this year.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

After receiving breast cancer treatments for over twenty years, a woman was referred to Johns Hopkins for follow-up care, including chemotherapy and radiation. As part of her new treatment plan, the woman received monthly Faslodex injections from the nurses at Johns Hopkins. She had been undergoing these injections for several months with no side effects.

During one of the Faslodex shots, a nurse improperly injected the medication into the woman's left sciatic nerve. As soon as she left the office, the woman was in terrible pain. She returned to Johns Hopkins the following day to complain about the lower back and leg pain, and her physician referred her to another doctor for sciatic pain treatment. None of the treatments have been successful, and the woman continues to suffer pain.

Additional Comments
  • The sciatic nerve begins in the lower back and branches down each leg. Sciatic nerve pain, referred to as sciatica, radiates along the path of the nerve on one side of the body. Sciatica can occur when the nerve is pinched, most commonly by a herniated disk or bone overgrowth.

  • Injury to the sciatic nerve is a serious complication of intramuscular injection. The first sign of this complication is extreme pain. The choice of site of an injection must be based on good clinical judgment, using the best evidence available and individualized assessment of the patient.

  • In a similar fact pattern in Hemmen v. Atlantic City Medical Center, the court found that you could not get a res ipsa loquitur instruction under this type of fact pattern.

  • Not a lot of detail is offered about the location of the injection. The injection site should typically be above an imaginary line extending from the ilac crest to the greater trochanter of the femur. If the nurse gave an injection below this line that may have been how the damage was done to the sciatic nerve.

Jurisdiction
  • Baltimore City
Defendants Hospitals Where Patient was Treated
  • Johns Hopkins
Negligence
  • Failing to avoid injury to the sciatic nerve.
  • Failing to identify the proper injection site.
  • Failing to consider proper landmarks prior to the injection.
  • Failing to perform an aspiration prior to the injection.
  • Failing to use acceptable injection practices.
Specific Counts Pled
  • As a direct result of the defendants' negligence, the claimant endured a painful injury to her left sciatic nerve. Her injury is permanent and causes her to suffer inconvenience, discomfort, and diminished enjoyment of life.

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