Clinical Negligence case studies

Breast Reduction Surgery

Miss M underwent bi-lateral breast reduction surgery.  Miss M told her surgeon that she smoked during initial examination.  During the consent procedure immediately prior to surgery it was noted that she was smoking 10 cigarettes a day.  After surgery and whilst recovering as an inpatient Miss M would go for a cigarette outside the Hospital as smoking inside was not permitted.  Miss M suffered from repeat infections as a result of which numerous procedures to clean out the wounds were conducted some on out-patient basis but some also under general anaesthetic as an in-patient.  Unfortunately, the infection was so severe that this caused nipple necrosis and eventually she lost both nipples and had to have both areolas cosmetically tattooed on.  Garratts successfully brought a claim against the Trust responsible and secured compensation for Miss M in the sum of £14,000.

Sub-standard investigation, mis-diagnosis and delayed treatment

Mr W received negligent medical care from an Accident and Emergency Department.   He attended Hospital being unable to weight bear on his left leg after kicking a door.  His knee was badly swollen and extremely painful.  The doctor at A&E failed to properly examine the area or obtain any x-rays contrary to the Ottawa Knee Rules.  He was sent home with an advisory to take pain relief.  Mr W attended A&E again some two months later still in pain and was then properly examined and found to have suffered a displaced fracture of the left tibial plateau.  The appropriate treatment at the time of the accident would have been to have pinned the fracture but as the healing process had already commenced, this was no longer an option.  The delay in diagnosis and subsequent delayed recovery were both actionable and Garratts secured compensation for Mr W in the sum of £3,000.

Failure to diagnose and treat

Baby P was diagnosed with Development Dysplasia of the left hip when she was almost 2 years old.  This should have been diagnosed and therefore treated much earlier by standard procedural examinations conducted by her Health Visitor.  Investigations carried out by Garratts revealed that routine checks that should have been carried out at set times during the child’s development did not occur at all or the wrong check was carried out.  The child started walking with a limp and much later than her elder sibling.  Eventually, after a catalogue of errors in referring the child to a specialist and after x-rays and scans had been conducted, Baby P was properly diagnosed and underwent surgical treatment and repair.  Both the delay in diagnosis and subsequent delayed recovery were actionable and Garratts secured compensation for Baby P in the sum of £25,000.

Sub-standard Dip Toe Fusion Surgery/Loss of Toenail

Miss H underwent dip toe fusion surgery.   During surgery damage was caused to the toenail bed and the toenail was incorrectly re-secured.  This resulted in severe infection; Miss H’s toel turned black and this was subsequently amputated to prevent the infection from spreading throughout her foot. Garratts successfully brought a claim against the Trust responsible and secured compensation for Miss H in the sum of £18,000.

Mis-diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease and delayed correct treatment

Mr D suffered from extreme stomach pain, constipation and unexplained weight loss.  Mr D had been earlier diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and appropriate medication was prescribed.  Mr D became very poorly and was eventually admitted to hospital after attending a number of times over the period of a month and given only pain relief.  He was an inpatient for over two weeks during which time he was in complete agony despite which only pain relief was given. 

Mr D’s skin began to change colour and during attempts to tubate him so that essential fluids/food could be given he began to vomit excrement.  He was taken for emergency surgery when two blockages were found and sections of his bowel and colon were removed and replaced with an ileostemy bag.  Further surgery was required to subsequently reverse the procedure.  The delay in referring him to an appropriate surgeon and subsequent delayed recovery were both actionable and Garratts secured compensation for Mr D in the sum of £7,000.

Substandard Knee Replacement surgery; amputation of leg; defective replacement Knee; and failure to deal with infection

Mr S underwent replacement knee surgery to his right leg in early 2009.  The surgery was not successful; he contracted an infection which was improperly dealt with and as a result revision surgery involving replacement of the first replacement knee was conducted in March 2010.  Further infection followed and treatment given involving further visits to theatre and a third implant was installed in August 2010.  He again contracted an infection and was subsequently informed in early 2011 by a surgeon from whom a second opinion was sought that he would have to undergo amputation of his right leg above the knee as a result of the negligent surgery and negligent diagnosis and treatment of the infections that followed.  This further surgery was conducted in May 2011.

Mr S sustained even further infection following the amputation and client was re-admitted to Hospital in October 2011 for a further 4cm to be taken off the stump.  There was mention during his stay in hospital that he had contracted MRSA at least once and possibly twice during his in-patient stays in hospital.  Medical evidence was obtained by us in July 2012 to support his case which stated that even the first knee replacement surgery was unnecessary and that Mr S had suffered from a series of negligence and inadequate or inappropriate treatment at the hands of the surgeon commencing with the first knee replacement operation in early 2009.  Liability has been admitted and it is expected the case will settle for £750,000 to £1,000,000.

Delayed investigation/treatment to damaged Achilles Tendon resulting in more invasive corrective surgery

Miss H acquired an sporting injury to her Achilles tendon in her right ankle whilst playing netball.  She attended at hospital where her right leg below the knee to her toes was placed in plaster with a backslab with her toes pointing downwards.  A couple of days later she attended at the fracture clinic where the cast was removed and replaced.  Miss H was told an urgent ultrasound scan would be required.  The scan was not conducted until a month later and in the meantime the cast was not replaced.  5 months after being injured and following a further ultrasound scan, Miss H was informed she had ruptured her Achilles tendon  3 weeks later she was still unable to weight bear on her right leg.  1 month later she underwent extensive corrective surgery having been informed that due to the delay in operating there was only a 60% chance of complete success and the scarring and recovery period would both be greater as a result of the delays.  The delay in diagnosis, delay in obtaining the ultrasound scan and subsequent delayed recovery were all actionable and Garratts secured compensation for Miss H in the sum of £20,000.

Negligent Dental Treatment/Removal of Teeth/ Defective Bridgework/Gaps in teeth

Mr T received negligent/substandard dental treatment from his dentist, orthodontist and hospital orthodontic department following a skateboarding accident when his front teeth were irreparably damaged when he was 10 years old. Mr T underwent various unsuccessful treatments including removal of teeth, bridgework, repairs, false teeth and leaving client with embarrassing gaps in his teeth and difficulties in biting and chewing food.

He suffered painful and traumatic ineffective dental procedures that were probably unnecessary and inappropriate whilst suffering socially, emotionally and educationally as a result of the unsightly appearance of his mouth and significant time absent from school and college to undergo the various treatments and subsequently to recover from same. He underwent numerous x-rays and also unnecessary and ineffective surgery in hospital. 

He has been left with continuing problems with his teeth and gums which may result in further and continuing treatment and constant maintenance but which will never achieve the results that he was promised at the outset.  The negligent treatment, unnecessary removal of teeth, defective bridgework and resulting gaps in his teeth were all actionable and Garratts secured compensation for Mr T in the sum of £15,000.

Delayed Diagnosis/Treatment

The claimant  slipped on black ice causing him to fall heavily onto his right ankle. He subsequently attended  a hospital  Accident and Emergency Department,  and no fracture or dislocation was identified.  He was discharged with crutches and advised to rest for three or four days before starting to weight bear.

Due to further problems with the ankle he returned to the hospital and was re-examined and a further x-ray was taken,  identifying a fracture.

He subsequently had to undergo surgery, missed a holiday and had screws inserted in the ankle.

Whilst he would have had to have undergone the surgery even if the ankle injury had been correctly diagnosed at the outset, he still suffered additional pain and suffering unnecessarily for a longer period of time than he should have.The Client received £2,500.

Failure to obtain proper consent

Mr P had a history of heart problems which were diagnosed when he was aged 38 following a stroke. He underwent a coronary artery bypass grafting from which he recovered quite well.  He was then advised by his surgeon to undergo a carotid endarterectomy (CEA) to unblock the arteries in his neck as a prevention against further strokes.  Mr P became very poorly after undergoing the CEA and died a few days later after suffering a massive bleed on the brain.

The advice given by his surgeon was incorrect and he was not told that if he did not undergo the CEA there was only had a 30% chance of a stroke reoccurring.  His family were adamant that had Mr P known this, he would never have undergone the CEA.  This negligence was actionable and a claim against the Trust was pursued by Mr P's family.  Garratts obtained compensation for the family in the sum of £23,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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