West Virginia Hospital Faces Medical Malpractice Claim

West Virginia Hospital Faces Medical Malpractice ClaimHerbert J. Thomas Memorial Hospital in Charleston,West Virginia, is being sued by an Alum Creek couple who claims the facility was negligent, the West Virginia Record reports.

Lisa Kirk was the subject of alleged medical malpractice, according to the lawsuit filed June 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court. According to the suit, Kirk was admitted to the hospital for a diagnostic laparoscopy and perhaps an appendectomy, but the following day, she noticed that her right arm had a knot in it.

She alerted a nurse that the site was swollen, tingling and painful, but the nurse allegedly continued her attempt at administering medication through an intravenous line (IV), which was messy. Kirk, who was released later that day, said that some of the medication actually leaked out of the IV and onto her hand.

After being released, Kirk claimed she experienced even more pain in her arm, including swelling and decreased range of motion in her right hand and wrist. A few days later, a simple ultrasound showed that Kirk was experienced cephalic vein thrombosis, a blood clot in a vein in the upper part of the arm. The suit alleges that the thrombosis in Kirk's right arm caused no blood to flow in the right cephalic vein from the mid-forearm to the site of the IV.

Kirk attempted physical therapy but the pain and swelling made it impossible to do so, the suit claims, and she had to be re-hospitalized to evaluate and treat the condition.

Kirk and her husband, Ronnie, are seeking compensatory damages in the lawsuit.

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, blood clots form when blood thickens and sticks together. These clots can be very dangerous because they can break off and travel through the blood stream and block blood flow. In some cases of deep vein thrombosis in the leg, the clot can travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism, a serious condition that often causes death. However, according to the Vein Directory, blood clots in the cephalic vein do not migrate.

The cephalic vein is the most common location for an IV and is frequently used as an entry point to withdraw blood for analysis or donation. The vein runs all the way from the shoulder to the hand, on the side of the thumb. The Vein Directory says that other common problems that can occur in the cephalic vein are infections from an IV catheter and phlebitis, an irritation of the vein from the chemicals in the IV solution.