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Home > News > Medical negligence compensation - rectal injury during surgery

15th March 2010

Medical negligence compensation - rectal injury during surgery

This client was forced to retire from the job that she loved, on the grounds of ill health, following hysterectomy surgery that left her with a perforated rectum. In the days following her surgery, our client became increasingly unwell, exhibiting signs of infection, suffering abdominal pain and with features of sepsis (an infection that spreads throughout the whole body).

Corrective surgery for perforated rectum

It was not until some 10 days after her surgery, that our client underwent investigative procedures that diagnosed her condition. She then had to undergo further extensive and reconstructive surgery to correct the perforated rectum and the advanced faecal peritonitis that had developed.

During this corrective surgery, our client also underwent a colostomy and had to be fitted with a colostomy bag. When she was eventually able to return home, she was still in considerable pain and discomfort.

Surgery to reverse colostomy

In the years following her hysterectomy, our client has undergone several further operations in attempts to reverse the colostomy, some of which themselves caused further infections and distress to our client. After several failed attempts however, a successful reversal was carried out, although our client will continue to experience the need to use the toilet frequently and urgently.

Grounds for making a claim for medical negligence compensation

The claim for medical negligence compensation was brought on the basis that the surgeon had failed to appreciate the significant risk factors associated with the initial surgery. In particular that insufficient advice was sought from related clinical specialists prior to the surgery, and that the surgeon had then caused or allowed a rectal injury to occur during the surgery.

However, this was further compounded by the delay by medical staff (doctors and nurses) in diagnosing our client’s worsening condition during her recovery period in hospital. We argued that had a CT scan been carried out several days earlier, when our client first began to show signs of infection, treatment would have begun before her condition reached such a critical stage. This would have avoided the need for some of the invasive procedures that followed, and reduced the pain and discomfort suffered by our client over several years.

It is likely that had our client not suffered the initial rectal injury, she would have been discharged just a few days after the surgery and returned to work within a few months.

Proceedings issued for medical negligence compensation claim

Due to the complex medical issues involved in this medical negligence compensation claim, the claims process was lengthy and time consuming, which is normal for such serious personal injury claims.

Our specialist medical negligence lawyer was forced to issue court proceedings as the deadline approached for bringing a claim within the limitation period of three years. However, our specialist medical negligence lawyer was able to negotiate a settlement before the trial date and secured almost £400,000 in medical negligence compensation for our client.

Making a medical negligence compensation claim

If you or a family member has suffered medical negligence, or received any medical negligence injury, please telephone us now on 0800 783 9019. Alternatively, please complete one of our online compensation claim forms, and a representative will contact you as soon as possible.

Please go to our Costs and Risks section for information on how Clear Answers will handle your claim and funding.

Alternative funding arrangements may apply in Northern Ireland due to differing procedures and Law Society regulations.

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