Client awarded £100,000 for surgical negligence claim

18 May 2021 | Stephanie Prior

Table of Contents

Our medical negligence solicitors were instructed to pursue a claim against Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Trust for injury caused during treatment received whilst our client was under their care in 2014.

Our client (DB) was diagnosed with a full rectal prolapse that required surgery in January 2015. The operation was performed in March and was successful in terms of the prolapse. However, DB’s left ureter was accidentally cut during this operation, which went unnoticed. No note of this was made in the operation notes, and no mention was made post-operatively.

Two days after the operation, DB had a high temperature, and following investigations, DB had a chest infection. DB suffered from a urinary tract infection, but fortunately, her antibiotics were also effective against this. DB began complaining of abdominal pain four days after the surgery, but doctors attributed this to her wounds and DB was discharged home when the infection seemed to subside.

DB attended Chelsea & Westminster Hospital A&E department with a 5-day history of urine incontinence on 12 April 2015. She was discharged in order to attend an outpatient appointment with her surgeon but returned to A&E three days later as she had increasing abdominal pain. This point resolved the incontinence issue. It was noted that she had a distended abdomen, and the working diagnosis at the time was suprapubic peritonitis and sepsis. Blood tests revealed infection, and a further CT scan showed an abscess in the pelvis that was subsequently drained. Further investigations followed as DB continued to have a high temperature, and a nephrostomy was performed. DB underwent further procedures over the next few months, including inserting and removing a ureteric stent, replacing a mid-ureteric stent and a ureteric re-implantation in September 2015.

Following her discharge, DB felt low in mood and attended her GP in January 2016. In February, DB reported bladder problems. She developed recurrent urinary tract infections. DB was anxious as she was concerned that the stent, inserted in the ureteric re-implantation procedure in September 2015, had not yet been removed.  The stent, which should have been removed within 6-8 weeks following the operation, was eventually removed in September 2016. However, in October 2016, DB had already developed two hernias secondary to the re-implantation procedure. DB, therefore, had to undergo a further operation to correct these.

Expert evidence was obtained from a Consultant Urologist and Consultant Colorectal Surgeon. Following serving a Letter of Claim, the Trust admitted liability and made an early Part 36 offer for £40,000, which the Claimant did not accept.

A joint settlement meeting followed, settling the claim for £100,000. The NHS Trust also provided a letter of apology addressed to the Claimant.

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