Consent for a Cannula
DOI link for Consent for a Cannula
Consent for a Cannula book
A 64-year-old woman was lying in the resuscitation room of an emergency department in London while an Surgical House Officer was proposing to insert a cannula into her left arm. This was necessary because she had a suspected fracture of her right humerus. The doctor considered alternative sites of cannulation, including the legs, but due to her general physical condition could not find a suitable vein. The Court of Appeal found that notwithstanding the pressures and anxieties of being a patient in a resuscitation room. She gave no consent to the cannulation of her left arm and accordingly, the doctor who chose to insert it breached his duty of care to her. The Court of Appeal provided no assistance with this, although in fairness, courts only answer the questions posed to them, rather than advising generally upon the clinical dilemma that flows as a consequence of the judgement.