Case Study: Nursing Errors Leads to Medication Being Inserted Into Wrong Line

Compensation: £25,000

Paula, Somerset 

JMW has successfully secured £25,000 compensation for a woman after nursing negligence led to medication being inserted into wrong line.

Paula, 26, has to take daily injections and has been left with a disfigurement after a nurse wrongly pumped medication into her veins rather than her stomach.

Her case was taken on by Katie Nolan, one of JMW’s specialist solicitors, and Paula was later awarded £25,000 in compensation.

Hospital treatment

Paula had suffered with a bowel problem since birth and for most of her life she had managed to control her condition. However when she was 21 her condition deteriorated and she spent a lot of time in and out of hospital. 

On one of these occasions she was admitted to hospital, so that doctors could investigate her condition and help her with the management of her pain. At this time, Paula’s bowel problem meant that she was unable to digest food properly so while she was in hospital, she was given nutrition called TPN. This was administered via a Hickman line straight in her neck which pumped the nutrition straight into her veins where it was needed. 

At the same time, Paula was fitted with a different kind of line called a PEG to administer medication which included Paracetamol, propranolol and medication to keep infections at bay.

However, this line took the medication to her stomach, not directly into her blood supply as with the nutrition.

Nursing error

One morning Paula was attended by a doctor and a nurse to prepare her for investigative surgery that she was due to undergo that day. While this was happening another nurse appeared to give Paula her morning medication, which had to be crushed and dissolved into water before being put into the PEG line to her stomach.

However, the second nurse wrongly administered a large amount of the medication into Paul’s Hickman line, taking it straight into her jugular vein in her neck. When Paul realised that the wrong line was being used she urged the nurse to stop but it was now too late to prevent the medication from going into her vein and her blood supply.

After effects

Paula began to feel unwell almost immediately and she began to feel strong pain and pins and needles in her left-hand side. Her neck also began to swell as this was the part of her body that the Hickman line was attached to. 

Later that day Paula was in so much pain that she was screaming and crying. The surgery that had been planned for her was cancelled and she was given a CT scan which revealed that she had a blood clot in her neck. Paula was given the devastating news that the error could have caused her a stroke however thankfully doctors were able to stop the blood clot from travelling to her heart.

Paula was prescribed medication and monitored overnight. She was also given injections for the next six months to prevent further blood clots and was since told her she would have these every day for the rest of her life. 

The vein in Paula’s neck is now very prominent due to the error, which is permanent and has caused her disfigurement. Paula is worried that the problems with this vein will make it difficult for her bowel condition to be treated her in the future.


Paula contacted JMW for advice and after her case was taken on by Katie Nolan she was awarded £25,000 in compensation for her pain, suffering and permanent problems that she has been left with. 


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