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My son was injured and traumatized recently at LabCorps. Would filing a lawsuit have merit in this case...

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To Sue or Not To Sue? That is my question.

  • Sue

  • Do Not Sue


Results are only viewable after voting.

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
The boy is chronically ill. That apparently is the reason for the testing which can require fasting (and probably explains the weight).
Yes, and a doctor should know better than to tell a frail underweight patient to fast without strong medical reasons and some advice on how to deal with it.

It is not the job of the lab's phlebotomists to do much, besides draw the blood in the correct vials with the correct stickers on then, and slap on a band aid. In Pennsylvania does not require that phlebotomists be certified. OP has no legal case against the lab.
 


quincy

Senior Member
Yes, and a doctor should know better than to tell a frail underweight patient to fast without strong medical reasons and some advice on how to deal with it.

It is not the job of the lab's phlebotomists to do much, besides draw the blood in the correct vials with the correct stickers on then, and slap on a band aid. In Pennsylvania does not require that phlebotomists be certified. OP has no legal case against the lab.
I assume - perhaps wrongly - that there was good medical reasoning behind the doctor ordering the blood drawn. :)

I agree that there is unlikely to be any legal action to pursue.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
I assume - perhaps wrongly - that there was good medical reasoning behind the doctor ordering the blood drawn. :)

I agree that there is unlikely to be any legal action to pursue.
At least, not for this incident at the lab. The lab phlebotomists did not do anything contrary to their training.

Now, depending on how much the doctor botches diagnosis and treatment... Because a kid doesn't drop to 80 lbs overnight. That low weight automatically puts him the medically fragile category, and the doctor should proceed accordingly.
 

commentator

Senior Member
My thoughts and good wishes for what you and your son are going through. I understand that sometimes the experience of watching him go through these things is also very hard and stressful for you. I am 100% in agreement with the idea that the amount of blood drawn does have a relationship to the amount of dizziness, whooziness, light headedness, etc. I'm one of those folks (think it may be related to low blood pressure) who doesn't react well to having anything more than a few drops of blood taken out of me, and fifteen vials put me on the floor at a LabCorps facility similar to what happened to your son. I've found the people at the phlebotomy labs are usually very professional and helpful, as they have had lots of experience with drawing blood and how different people may react. I very much agree that a formal complaint to the company is appropriate here for the negative experience you had.

But though you can certainly check with an attorney, it's not going to be easy to show that your doctor was medically negligent for asking for a lot of blood to be drawn, I can see no easily visible malpractice from that angle. And you very likely would not be able to go after LabCorps legally for not having juices or crackers or for not being supportive enough or well prepared enough when they draw a large amount of blood from a frail patient and have them faint, vomit, lie on the bathroom floor, etc. Even though it sounds as though they were very unsupportive, and you feel there were definitely emotional damages from somewhere, without real physical damage due to negligence, it's going to be very difficult to pinpoint who would be at fault and sue-able here. Lasting emotional damage is very hard to prove, would possibly need to be shown by counseling and treatment by a therapist.

And it does seem that some counseling and coaching for what he's going through would be wonderful for your son to have in any case. This is something you might want to bring up with your primary physician. Many large medical operations have this sort of additional support services for their patients who are having chronic medical issues. I'm sure your doctor did not want your son to go through this sort of experience and will be willing any way they can to help in the future. Ask the doctor if the boy has to fast from all liquids before a blood draw in the future. The fainting and the difficult draws may be helped if he is able to drink water and stay hydrated before the blood draws. Getting that heart rate up may help too. Also, you could ask for a prescription of EMLA cream, which is a topical anesthetic salve which has saved me bunches of discomfort when I was having lots of blood drawn.
 
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ajkroy

Member
Agree with what Commentator said. I am a veteran phlebotomist and teach phlebotomy. I frequently would have fainters or people who would get woozy, and I have never once offered food or drink. We just didn't supply it.

As for your son, perhaps you can discuss with his doctor about having a port installed.
 
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