Injured People

Work Injuries in the Health Care Industry: Case studies

In our previous blog, Dimitra Bouras explained some of the top causes and common injuries sustained by health care workers.

Below we look at two case studies where we were able to help injured health care workers.

Case study 1:  38 year old nurse sustaining neck and shoulder injury

Sabrina*, a 38 year old nurse working in a nursing home, sustained a left shoulder and neck injury whilst assisting a patient up off the ground.  As she was assisting the patient, the patient pulled on her left arm, resulting in immediate pain.  The ongoing pain was intense, and her condition continued to deteriorate.  She was diagnosed with cervical myelopathy with incomplete tetraplegia and underwent a neck fusion resulting in complications including dysphasia (issues with her voice and swallowing), urological dysfunction (bladder impairment) requiring catheterisation, bowel dysfunction and dry mouth (as a result of medications).

Although Sabrina’s claim was accepted from the outset, we were able to assist Sabrina with having her declared an interim ‘seriously injured worker’ and allowing her payments to continue until she was ready to have her whole person impairment assessment, at maximum medical improvement.  We were then able to assist her with her lump sum entitlements ensuring that she was assessed with a whole person impairment (WPI) in excess of 35% and having her declared a ‘seriously injured worker’.  As a result of these actions, she is now entitled to income maintenance until retirement age and medical expenses for life.

Case study 2: 59 year old nurse with long history of work injuries

Emily* worked as a nurse for a public hospital for over 35 years.  During the course of her employment, she had sustained multiple work injuries. On some occasions she had needed to take a short period off work, on other occasions she did not have any time off work.   She did incur some medical expenses.

Emily came to see us when her most recent claim for a neck, back and shoulder injury was rejected.  Emily was aspirating a catheter.  The catheter had clots and continued to block.  She was doing this aspiration process for a long period of time when she started to experience pain, tingling and numbness down her arm.

We were able to assist Emily in the dispute process for this particular injury resulting in her claim being accepted and Emily receiving income maintenance and medical expenses.  In addition, we were also able to assist Emily with her lump sum entitlements for economic loss and non-economic loss pursuant to Section 56 and 58 of the Return to Work Act.

During the course of her 35 year Nursing career, Emily had sustained multiple injuries and had eight injury claims stemming back to 2006.  Her employer never informed her that she was entitled to explore her entitlements to lump sum compensation for the earlier injuries.  We were able to assist Emily with lump sum entitlements for all eight claims for non-economic and economic loss.  Compensation was in excess of $140,000.00, an entitlement that she never knew existed but which was life-changing for her.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at work please contact our Workers Compensation team online via our enquiry form or call us on (08) 8212 1077 (SA), (08) 9211 5800 (WA) or (08) 8995 9520 (NT). You should not feel like you need to go it alone. Let us manage your claim whilst you focus on your recovery.




*Not their real names