Was Your PICC Line Injury Caused by Malpractice?

If you believe that you or a loved one has experienced a PICC line infection due to medical malpractice, it may be time to consult an experienced malpractice  lawyer. Read on to learn what qualifies as medical malpractice and what to expect from the process if you think you have a legal case.

What Is a PICC Line?

A peripherally inserted central catheter, or PICC line, is a way for doctors to gain access to the large central veins near the heart. If a patient is undergoing treatment for cancer, infection, or any condition that causes difficulty in processing food or nutrients, a PICC line is commonly used to simplify the process when treatment is expected to last several weeks. 

A PICC line gives doctors a way to provide steady medication or liquid nutrition without the frequent pain of needle sticks that would otherwise be required. In addition to cutting out the pain of medication administered via needle, a PICC line circumvents the irritation that can happen to small veins due to routine needle injection. 

PICC lines are also placed by registered nurses in a variety of settings, including hospitals and surgery centers. They are specifically trained to place these IV lines, and are subject to the same complications and errors as a physician when placing them. 

Though a PICC line can be a great way to simplify treatment, it can also be the source of complication from infection. A PICC line infection can cause minor medical issues or spiral out of control, so take extra care if you notice any of these symptoms of a PICC line infection:

  • Fever
  • Shaking and/or chills
  • Increased heart rate
  • Redness, swelling, or sensitivity of any type at the injection site
  • Catheter drainage

Even with the best care an infection is possible, but sometimes an infection can occur due to malpractice. While mistakes can happen with even the best intentions, you or a loved one should never have to pay for a medical professional’s mistake. 

What Are Signs of PICC Line Infection Malpractice? 

We trust doctors to do what’s right, but if that trust is broken, even by accident, you may be eligible to recover compensation. If you are considering pursuing a malpractice suit, make sure to be aware of the signs that would indicate your infection came from malpractice so you can better decide if you have a case. Fortunately, most signs of error will be recognizable. 

Specific signs indicating potential malpractice include the following: 

  • Your PICC line was in place for a long period of time
  • Your catheter was not properly coated in bacteria-killing substance
  • The catheter was inserted into a vein in the thigh
  • You had a previously occurring infection elsewhere or you have a weakened immune system

While not all of the above are clear signs of malpractice, all of these scenarios might indicate an infection that was ultimately avoidable. Doctors have a duty to protect you from potential complications, and if you are already at risk of infection or the catheter is poorly placed, it can amount to malpractice. 

If you have experienced a PICC line infection and you believe that it happened as a result of malpractice, it might be time to reach out to an injury lawyer near you. Not all cases of infection will be someone’s fault, but if malpractice is involved an injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

How Are PICC Line Malpractice Cases Resolved?

The first step in resolving any medical malpractice case is to find an experienced malpractice law firm and set up an appointment. Any case involving medical malpractice is likely to be complex and can add stress on top of your injury. Having experienced legal support on your side will ensure that a difficult process doesn’t become harder than it has to be. 

Depending on your situation, the statute of limitations—the period of time in which you can file a claim—can be short. Even if you are unsure whether you want to pursue a malpractice lawsuit, it’s important to reach out for a consultation as soon as possible so you can get all the facts you need to make your decision. 

If your case is appropriate for pursuing legal liability, your malpractice lawyers will work to get you justice, whether that is a settlement or a judgment in your favor. Settlement and judgment amounts vary, taking into account these factors:

  • Doctor and hospital bills—past, current, and future
  • Lost income—past, current, and future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Quality of life concerns

Janet, Janet & Suggs Is Here to Help

If you have fallen victim to a PICC line infection due to malpractice, you can trust us to fight for the compensation you deserve. Janet, Janet & Suggs has over 40 years of experience with medical malpractice lawsuits. We provide expert witnesses and attorneys to support clients through the complex process of PICC line infection malpractice cases.  Our nationally recognized track record of successful verdicts demonstrates our commitment to working for justice and fair compensation. We fight for victims of medical malpractice, and there are no fees unless your case is won. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case and learn about your rights.

 William R. “Topper” Cramer

Reviewed by:
William R. “Topper” Cramer, RN, MBA, MS, CCRN, CFRN, EMT-P
Legal Nurse Consultant | Nurse Paralegal

Topper has been involved in emergency, transport, and critical care medicine since 1978 when he became an EMT in high school. A United States Air Force veteran, he remains active as a pre-hospital RN/paramedic, certified flight nurse, and critical care nurse. In addition to his professional role as a nurse consultant/nurse paralegal, he is the Chief of Operations at Walkersville Volunteer Rescue in Frederick County, Maryland. READ FULL BIO

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