Can a surgery center be obligated to pay medical expenses for an IV that was inserted incorrectly before sugery?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a surgery center be obligated to pay medical expenses for an IV that was inserted incorrectly before sugery?

I went in for an endoscopy prodcedure and the nurse puncured a vein and I had subcutaneous fluid leaking into my hand before the procedure. I explained that my hand was hurting. I have small veins and she said that I was one of her most difficult patients. They took my back and during the procedure, my hand started to swell and they had to wait me up early to remove the IV. Its been a little over a week and my hand is swelling back up and itching terribly. They told me to go to urgent care but I don’t feel like I should have to pay for anything considering it was their fault.

Asked on September 29, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

To recover money from them (assuming they do not choose to voluntarily pay you something), you would have to sue them in court and prove with medical expert testimony that the IV was inserted negligently or unreasonably carelessly, causing the problem. You MUST have medical expert (i.e. doctor testimony) to bring a malpractice case, and medical expert testimony can easily cost $1,500 or more--considerably more than the cost of the urgent care center. If--as we hope--you do not suffer any very large medical costs or serious long term life impairment or disability (either of which could support a large judgment or award in a malpractice case), there is no cost-effective way to force them to reimburse you: for tens of dollars, or even several hundred dollars, in costs, you'd spend more on the lawsuit than you could get back, since you have to pay your own medical expert cost (you cannot recover it from them).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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