Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) associated with needle procedures

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“Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, is attracting more public attention in Japan which is likely a result of the recent upsurge in lawsuits filed against medical institutes. A recent court ruling over a case of injection-needlestick-injury induced CRPS has touched off serious debates among both medical practitioners and legal professionals.” Hirata (2014).

Reference:

Hirata, H. (2014) How big of a threat is needlestick-injury-induced complex regional pain syndrome? A “scientific” perspective. Hand Surgery. 19(2), p.151-62.

Abstract:

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, is attracting more public attention in Japan which is likely a result of the recent upsurge in lawsuits filed against medical institutes. A recent court ruling over a case of injection-needlestick-injury induced CRPS has touched off serious debates among both medical practitioners and legal professionals. Although the court rejected the plaintiff’s claims, the high court admitted them in view of the evidence and the entire pleadings and ordered the defendant to pay compensation. As venipuncture is the most frequently conducted and minimally invasive procedure in daily clinical practice, this court decision has attracted tremendous interest throughout the nation, alarming medical practitioners, and encouraging attorneys. The purpose of this article is twofold: to highlight the patient’s clinical course in summary based on an unofficial case law report(1) and to provide a scientific perspective on this issue based on recent relevant articles.

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