Seven figure sum received after unnecessary surgery resulting in severe drug reaction and brain injury

Posted by Patricia Wakeford, 10th August 2018
Mrs P attended her GP surgery complaining of loin pain.  She was referred to the local hospital and saw a consultant urologist as it was felt that she might have a kidney stone. On assessment it was not conclusive that she did have such a stone. However, an x-ray and CT scan were taken as well as an ultrasound scan.

A radiologist reviewed the x-ray and said there was a stone in the ureter, which is the tube leading from the kidney to the bladder.  A physiotherapist and the consultant considered that it might be a musculoskeletal issue causing the pain. However, surgery was booked to remove the stone and a cancellation appointment became available very quickly.

During the surgery Mrs P suffered an anaphylactic reaction to one of the anaesthetic drugs.  She had a cardiac arrest and lack of oxygen to the brain resulting in loss of sight, issues with mobility and memory and cognitive damage.  She spent weeks in intensive care and during that time was inadvertently given another dose of the same medication that caused the reaction. A separate settlement for this part of the claim was made early in the litigation for a four figure sum.

Mrs P will never work again and requires 24-hour care although there has been some improvement in her condition since the date of the surgery.  She has mobility issues which are exacerbated by her loss of sight. She can manage well in her own home environment but has difficulties in unfamiliar places.  She is understandably psychologically traumatised about the change in her situation and finds it difficult being reliant on people for almost all aspects of her daily needs.

Mrs P and her family contacted Blake Morgan solicitors (previously BL Claims solicitors) and Patricia Wakeford investigated her claim. Experts were instructed and a radiologist confirmed that there was no stone in the ureter.  This meant that the surgery had been unnecessary. Despite this, the trust denied that they had caused any harm. The trust, eventually, admitted to failures in care on the first day of trial. The valuation of the claim continued with the instruction of various experts to assess the care, therapies and equipment that Mrs P would require for the rest of her life.

The case was settled four months before the trial to assess the valuation of the claim. Mrs P was very happy to accept a sum that she feels will provide for her needs going forward.

Mrs P was very fortunate in that she has a very close and supportive family who provided all of her care needs until the case settled. They gave up their own homes to move nearer to Mrs P and were available 24 hours a day for her. The compensation award now means that they can become her family again and know that they have adequate compensation to pay for her care needs, therapy, equipment and a property so she will have security in the future.

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