The cases we have covered below really are the tip of the iceberg, but they demonstrate what can go wrong and the devastating effect on people's lives when medical services are under so much pressure.
Orthopaedic hip case
Mr S underwent hip replacement surgery at a private hospital. Following surgery, and over the following five years before being identified, Mr S suffered from pain and discomfort from the hip. He was subsequently informed that there had been a mismatch of the prosthesis (meaning the cup was larger than the head of the prosthetic). As a result, it can cause metal debris to form within the joint. There was a delay in revision surgery, and Mr S suffered from a pseudo-tumour which destroyed the surrounding bone and muscle. Mr S had to undergo several hip revision procedures, and it is expected he will require further revisions in the future. He suffered permanent pain and needed care. His ability to work was also affected. A six-figure settlement was agreed with the private hospital.
Mr B attended the hospital following an accident in which he had suffered an injury to his back. An x-ray was performed and reported as clear. Mr B continued to suffer from back pain over the following five months, which was medicated by his GP, and he was also referred for a further scan. The result of the scan showed an L1 vertical fracture. As a result of the 5-month delay in diagnosis, the fractured had united but in a kyphotic position (curved). The fracture had also further compacted down, which left Mr B with significant pain, which affected his ability to walk and his ability to walk balance. A five-figure settlement was agreed with the hospital.
We acted for an individual who was a pedestrian and injured by a motorist. Our client suffered significant physical injuries, including a fractured pelvis, C2 fracture (neck), vertebral artery dissection and a severe traumatic brain injury. Our client made a good recovery from his physical injuries and, with appropriate rehabilitation, some recovery from his neurological brain injury. Unfortunately, our client was left with cognitive difficulties, mainly affecting concentration, which were expected to be permanent. Despite a denial of liability by the motorist, a favourable six-figure settlement was agreed.
We acted on behalf of Miss C, who was pregnant and attended the hospital following her waters breaking and concerns about reduced fetal movements. A CTG was performed, which did not identify any concerns with the heart rate. Miss C proceeded with labour, and her baby was born the following day. Unfortunately, the baby was born in poor condition, having suffered a brain injury due to reduced oxygen, and tragically died six days later. A birth injury claim was brought against the hospital as there had been a failure to correctly interpret the CTG results when Miss C arrived at the hospital. The medical evidence showed that if the result of the CTG had been correctly interpreted by healthcare staff, Miss C would have proceeded to caesarean section. Had Miss C's baby have been born earlier by way of caesarean section, he would have survived. A five-figure settlement was reached with the hospital, and Miss C received a full apology.
Delay in diagnosis of cancer
Mr P attended the hospital with shortness of breath which led to a 5-day inpatient stay and him undergoing a CT scan. Subsequently, he was given the 'all clear' by the hospital and discharged. Mr P began suffering from urinary problems (in terms of frequency of urination and pain), and his GP referred him to the same hospital for further investigation. A further CT scan identified Mr P had bladder cancer which should have been identified on the earlier scan. There had been a 1-year delay in the cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, the cancer had metastasised by this time, and Mr P passed away. We acted on behalf of the family to obtain damages, and a five-figure settlement was achieved.
Orthopaedic injury arising from a road traffic accident
Miss Y was involved in a road traffic accident. She suffered multiple injuries, including fractures to her left wrist and right elbow and right ankle, which led to her undergoing multiple surgeries. Miss Y was discharged from the hospital in a wheelchair whilst she recovered from her injuries, and she required a significant amount of care from family members. She subsequently had to undergo further surgeries to remove metalwork. The medical evidence was that Miss Y would continue to suffer from restrictions, pain, and weakness in both her left wrist and right ankle, which would continue to impact her work for the remainder of her career. Miss Y's injuries also affected her hobbies and leisure pursuits which would continue to be curtailed. A six-figure settlement was agreed.
Mr P was involved in a road traffic accident as a result of which he suffered whiplash-type injuries and a brain injury, which was not identified immediately following the accident. He developed neuropsychological injuries, including difficulties walking in a straight line, focussing, difficulty with speech and concentration and difficulty writing. A post-traumatic brain injury was diagnosed, and unfortunately, Mr P's symptoms deteriorated. Mr P required a walking stick for support due to considerable weakness in his legs which affected his balance, he suffered from tremors, claustrophobia and blurred vision, and he was unable to drive. He also suffered significant personality changes and depression. We arranged for Mr P to undergo extensive rehabilitation and secured a six-figure settlement.
If you'd like any advice on medical negligence, please contact one of our team.