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Mr K recovered £60,000
We acted for Mr K in a claim where the Defendants failed to pick up a bowel leak. When they did, there was a delay in undertaking surgery to fix this. As a result Mr K was left with a colostomy bag for the rest of his life. We obtained a settlement of £60,000.
In January 2015 Mr K was diagnosed with bowel cancer and they found a growth in his bowel. The hospital decided that the growth should be removed and titanium implants should be used by way of a laparoscopic surgery.
Mr K was admitted to hospital to undergo the operation and it was planned that he should stay for 5 – 6 days for recovery. During his stay Mr K was very sick and visibly not well according to his wife who visited him during this time
Mr K was bleeding from the wound and was seen by a Nurse and a Registrar. The Registrar advised that Mr K needed another operation and that this would take place on 17th January 2015. Mr K’s wife was advised to go home as the surgery would not happen until the early hours of the morning.
The next day, however, when she visited him at 11:00am, he still had not undergone the operation. In the afternoon of the same day she received a call to say that her husband was on a ventilator.
Mr K was transferred to intensive care unit and Mr K’s wife was advised that he had double pneumonia, septicaemia and that they were not sure he was going to pull through.
On 20th January Mr K was moved to a high dependency unit because he was delirious and poorly for a week. However, on 30th January 2015, he was moved back to the intensive care unit, the nurses advising his wife that they thought they had lost him three times. Mr K was then transferred to a normal male ward and had a fistula. Mr K was advised that he would have surgery again to close up the fistula and to be fitted with a colostomy bag which would be in place for the rest of his life.
We instructed a General Surgeon who identified two areas of breach of duty.
The first was a failure to test the integrity of the anastomosis (a connection made surgically between adjacent blood vessels) with an underwater test. An anastomotic leak developed in the early post-operative period, suggesting the anastomosis was not performed appropriately.
Had an underwater test been performed peri-operatively, a leak would have been identified and repaired. On a balance of probabilities this would not have subsequently leaked.
The second failing was, having identified evidence of a leak on CT scanning, on 16 January 2015 surgery did not ultimately take place until the morning on 18 January 2015.
This delay represented a breach of duty and has contributed to the prolonged recovery of the Mr K.
The hospital accepted the second failing but not the first but argued that the only real damage was that the further surgery would have been less challenging.
Our evidence was they were wrong, so we proceeded to value the claim. The Defendants appreciated the weakness in their arguments and settled the claim for £60,000.
Find out more about Attwaters Accidents’ Delayed Diagnosis Claims specialists here.
Attwaters Accidents is the Medical Negligence department of the trusted, long-established firm Attwaters Jameson Hill.