Injuries after preventive medical checkup – Part V

On Monday, 14th February 2005 I consulted with Dr. H. at Minor & James. Before I saw him I spoke with his assistant G. who agreed with me that it had been strange that the physician at the other clinic had not requested a blood test the first time I consulted with him.

The visit with Dr. H. was quite different than the one I have had with Dr. P. As far as I remember both had been listed under the section for family physicians, but Dr. H. was listed under internal medicine. Dr. P. had barely spent time with me whereas Dr. H. did a physical exam and spent a lot of time asking me questions and entering data in his computer. I was in his examination room for about 45 minutes. I had told him that I had consulted a dermatologist’s office for the injury to my nail, but I had not received the results yet. Dr. H’s examination entailed looking in my mouth, too, and he said that everything looks fine. He prescribed a blood, urine, and stool test. The blood and urine test were done the same day at the clinic’s lab. I had to do the stool test at home.

At the lab a female nurse, A., injected needles in my arms to draw blood. Though I have fine veins, I’ve never had before the problem that a nurse wasn’t able to draw blood from them. But this nurse injected a needle in my left arm and on the top of my right elbow several times, but she always missed the vein. Additionally, she turned the needle around while the needle was under my skin of my upper right elbow. No other nurse has ever done this, and often I had blood drawn from me. While living in Germany I had been a blood donor. At that point I really started to feel very uncomfortable. After this nurse also said to me “There are sideways people don’t know about.” I actually got this uneasy feeling that she had missed my veins on purpose. Afterwards I requested that someone else should draw blood. And she called a male nurse.

The male nurse’s name started with the same letter A. A female nurse, R. assisted him. This nurse held the plastic containers for him. He said to me that he’ll use a smaller needle, and he drew blood from the veins on top of my right hand. While I was sitting in the lab, I noticed that another person stuck his hand through the curtain and placed a urine sample in a box on the wall opposite my chair. I was told that I had to place my urine sample in the same box, too.

On Sunday, 20th February, I noticed a red mark next to the injection from the needle injected several times on top of my right arm. In the middle of the mark was a blister. The diameter of the red mark was about ½ inch. The appearance of the red mark with the blister worried me.

I called a neighbor and told her about my red mark and the blister on it. She told me to report this in case drawing blood from me had been mishandled. After I had spoken to her I called Minor & James, and they paged Dr. H. He called me back on the same day and said that if the red mark would spread over my whole arm I should come the next day in the clinic otherwise it would be a waste of his and my time. After the conversation with him I wasn’t appeased. I had to talk to someone else about this matter. I called another person, and T. said that the physicians/clinics are actually being afraid of being sued, therefore they tell you that there is nothing to worry about.

I certainly didn’t feel better after these conversations. The next day I called my sister in Germany and asked her to ask the dermatologist in Germany what he thinks. She called me back the next day, Tuesday, and said that he had told her that I shouldn’t worry because the blister was not at the injection point of the needle and may have been co-incidental.

After this incident I just was hoping that nothing serious would develop out of this experience. But my confidence in nurses drawing blood from me was at a low point.

At that time I had not developed yet the severe symptoms in my mouth that show up after being exposed to too much radiation. At that time I only felt sometimes a numb feeling and some tingling sensations in my mouth, which I had already described to assistant J. at Dr. G.’s practice.

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