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My mom was in a NH in March 2015. She received an antibiotic shot in the arm and has been complaining of pain ever since; Xray shows arthritis and cartilage breakdown. Prior to getting the shot there were no problems. Is there legal liability for her injury?

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Jeannegibbs, I will let you know what the attorney advises.
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PS - you could see if the other side has just as much arthritis and cartilage breakdown - it is hard to imagine the mechanism of an antibiotic shot causing that, unless somehow it was given into the joint??? I did once get a flu shot that was uncomfortably close to my acromion (shoulder tip), so I suppose it is not impossible!
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Well, first see if her exam is consistent with a specific nerve injury. If there is a lot of pain it could instead or in addition be what is called neuropathic pain or complex regional pain syndrome, and they can try gabapentin for it - and that would not necessarily be due to lapse in standard of care. So get the right diagnosis first - see a neurologist or maybe a rehab doc, and they will have to put her through an electrodiagnosis to confirm a specific nerve injury. To file a suit you do need to have a medical expert testify that a standard of care was breached and that it caused the harm.

If you end up with a large settlement, a good attorney should know how to put it into a trust for care needs without disqualifying her from other aid. But, if you are told that it will not be worth it, either because the injection was not given incorrectly or the damages are not related to it, it is probably not worth pursuing.
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The standard of care is what a reasonable professional would do in a given situation. Not following standard of care (or set standards by which a profession is practiced that would be practiced by all) results in negligence. For instance, the standard of care is to take an x-ray when someone falls if there may be a broken bone. Not taking the x-ray could be negligent if it is normally done. Hope that helps you to understand.
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Oh, another thing to discuss with an attorney is the Subrogation rights of Medicare. They may have a lien on any personal injury funds that she recovers if they have paid out medical bills on her behalf.
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Reddyretta,
(In reference to your response post that she receives Medicare Part A.)

What I meant with my post about whether a personal injury recovery would disqualify her from Medicaid is that it could inflate her income. Medicaid is different from Medicare. Medicaid is aid based on the recipient's limited income and assets. It may cover medical costs that Medicare doesn't cost and also long term care in a rest home. If your mom is receiving or could be applying for Medicaid soon, you might consider how receiving a cash settlement could disqualify her. ( Most of the time, you are limited to $2000.00 in cash assets.) I would just check it out in advance.
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Reddyretta - nursing homes have care standards. They are very complex, broad guidelines intended to keep nursing home patients from deteriorating. I was just trying to say that it will be pretty much impossible for you to "prove" that your mother's problems stem from that single shot administered by the nurse.
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Reddyretta, would you come back and let us know what the attorney says? We learn from each other on this site.
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My mom received shots in the hospital prior to being admitted to the NH,and all was well. Now, she's either going to have to have surgery or continue to suffer pain and immobility. If it's true that death has to occur before a lawsuit may be valid that is frightening. But I am going to consult an attorney. Thanks to everyone for your help and feedback.
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In Texas, you can only have a claim if the patient dies.
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After he fell, my husband's PCP sent him to an orthopedic clinic. They took x-rays and examined him and said his pain was from arthritis, there was no injury from the fall. They explained that a fall or a blow or a bump can cause an arthritis flare up.

I'm not medically trained at all, but based on that explanation it doesn't seem unreasonable to me that your mother's current problems could be from arthritis she has had for years. The shot might have triggered a flareup, or the timing might be coincidental.

I'm not legally trained, either, but it seems to me if shot was appropriate and the nurse did it in the usual way, I don't know how she could be liable for an arthritis flareup. Even if you get bad results from a treatment, the medical personnel are not liable unless they did something wrong.

But we can only speculate. As GA advises, if you want a legal opinion see a lawyer who specializes in these kinds of cases.
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NYdaughterinlaw, what is standard of care?
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Sunnygirl1, my mom received Medicare A at the time.
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Legal liability applies when the standard of care was not met. Having a bad outcome does not mean the standard of care was not met. Arthritis happens with the normal wear and tear of life. If you want money you're going to have to prove damages and those X-rays help the nursing home more than they do you.
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Is your mom on Medicaid? When seeking legal counsel, I would inquire to see if recovery of personal injury proceeds would disqualify her for Medicaid benefits.
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Eyerishlass, mom had complete mobility with her right arm prior to the shot, now she has to support her arm when bathing. The nurse probably hit a nerve, but thank you for your reply.
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Thanks for your answer, Garden Artist. I am going to consult a malpractice attorney because even though Xray shows cartilage breakdown, I don't understand why mom's never had any problems before the shot.
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You'd have to find a medical malpractice attorney who thought there might be liability and agreed to investigate by (a) ordering your mother's medical records and (b) finding a qualified doctor to review them.

If the doctor didn't feel there was liability, that's the end of any possible liability issue.

Good med mal attorneys don't go out on a limb to file a suit for which they don't have medical substantiation.
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The issues you described don't happen overnight, they're due to wear and tear on the body. The antibiotic shot may have aggravated them but the shot didn't cause them.
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