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Home > News > Victim of surgical error receives medical negligence compensation

6th April 2010

Victim of surgical error receives medical negligence compensation

Our client received substantial medical negligence compensation after corrective surgery went drastically wrong.

A keen rugby player, this client was forced to abandon plans to play rugby at a competitive level following an injury resulting from a surgical error. Rugby was his passion and he had planned to continue playing for many years to come.

Following the initial corrective surgery, our client was advised that he would be able to continue playing, following a suitable period of recuperation. However, following the subsequent further extensive treatments to correct the damage caused during the initial surgery, he has now been advised that he can no longer play.  He will  be  able to assist with  coaching .

Initially expected to recover within weeks, the additional surgery and the effects of the damage to his shoulder, significantly extended his period of recovery into months.

This had a significant affect on his business. Our client is self-employed and his ability to continue was severely limited as he was unable to drive for several months.

Surgical error during corrective procedure

Our client had undergone surgery to his shoulder to alleviate pain and discomfort that he was suffering as a result of several long-standing rugby-related injuries to his shoulder.

When he did not make the expected recovery following this operation, further surgery was required. During this second, more major procedure, the surgeon had to remove two suture anchors that had been inserted during the first operation.

It was later revealed that the surgeon had used an incorrect drill size when preparing to insert the sutures, which meant that they had been allowed to stand proud of their proper locations. This had caused abrasion damage within our client’s shoulder, causing extreme pain and discomfort, and a feeling that his shoulder was unstable.

Re-surfacing replacement of the shoulder

Even after this additional surgery, our client continued to experience pain and stiffness and a CT scan was scheduled. This revealed severe degenerative changes in his shoulder, a significant deterioration from the condition seen in the CT scan carried out prior to the initial surgery.

Following this diagnosis, further corrective surgery was carried out in the form of a re-surfacing replacement. Although this has improved the level of pain our client was experiencing, he has been left with limited movement, and suffers pain when trying to extend that movement.

He has also been advised that he will require several periodic revision operations and that his recovery period following each operation will gradually increase each time. These recovery periods will have an increasingly detrimental affect on his business and income.

Our client will also now be at an increased risk of developing arthritis, and he has been left with significant scarring at the site of the surgery procedures.

Grounds for making a claim for surgical error compensation

The claim for medical negligence compensation for this surgical error was argued on the basis that the surgeon had failed to provide an acceptable standard of care to his patient. He had failed to investigate the true extent of our clients existing injury, or the significant risk factors associated with carrying out the procedure by means of keyhole surgery.

Had the true extent of our client’s injury been known, it is likely that the surgery would have been carried out in an open procedure. Had this been the case, the error in placing the suture anchors would not have occurred, thus avoiding the further damage to our client’s shoulder.

Surgeon admitted liability for surgical error

The surgeon admitted that the errors were due to his actions. However, our specialist medical negligence lawyers were still forced to issue court proceedings in order to seek an acceptable level of medical negligence compensation for our client.

Before the trial date, we were able to negotiate a substantial sum for our client, which he was able to accept.

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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