Grandmother receives damages for perforated bowel

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Grandmother receives damages for perforated bowel

6th February 2012

A grandmother has been awarded £40,000 in damages in an out of court settlement after being left with permanent disabilities following a hysterectomy operation which caused a perforated bowel.

Jacqui Hayat, a medical negligence expert at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the woman in her 70s suffered a perforated bowel when she underwent an abdominal hysterectomy in 2008.

“My client was left feeling extremely unwell following her hysterectomy,” said Jacqui, a partner with the firm. “She started suffering with severe stomach pains and although it was obvious something was desperately wrong, she was effectively ignored and only admitted back into theatre ten days later. When surgeons examined her they discovered her bowel had been accidentally perforated in two separate locations during the procedure.”

Following an operation to repair her bowel, the retired mother-of-three was placed in a high-dependency unit and fitted with three separate drains to rid her abdomen of excess fluid.

“Three days after her bowel operation, a nurse was removing one of the drains from my client’s stomach when the tip broke off inside her,” said Jacqui. “The nurses immediately started panicking, my client was given an anaesthetic and the remaining drains along with the broken tip were retrieved.

“The following day, my client was transferred to the cardiac care unit suffering with shortness of breath,” added Jacqui. “Her hands started swelling up and doctors were forced to cut her wedding ring off. Alarmingly, my client then contracted the C Difficile bacterial infection and had to be placed in isolation. By this time, her stomach wounds were failing to heal and she simply wished to be discharged.”

The claimant was eventually discharged some four weeks later with a vacuum pump connected to her stomach designed to enable her wounds to heal.

“My client’s medical care ran anything but smoothly,” said Jacqui. “The long hysterectomy scar along her stomach which was then used in the operation to repair her perforated bowel has now healed but she continues to have problems with the wound site from where one of the drain tips snapped off inside her.

“Shockingly, the hospital failed to arrange any kind of follow-up appointments for my client leaving it to her GP practice to arrange for a district nurse to attend to her wound once a day,” added Jacqui. “Although she continued to have her wound dressed every week for 18 months it failed to heal and she was again forced to seek treatment.”

After the claimant was referred to a plastic surgeon, she underwent surgery to have a skin graft taken from her leg and applied to her wound in an effort to help it heal. When the procedure proved unsuccessful she was told surgeons would be unable to perform a second graft and were baffled as to what to do next.

“When my client entered hospital for her initial hysterectomy, she fully expected to be out and about in a matter of weeks,” said Jacqui. “Instead, she has been subjected to a painful and prolonged three year ordeal due in part to the catalogue of errors she experienced on behalf of the individuals charged with her care. She has now been left with permanent scarring and disfigurement around her stomach.

“Her life has been dramatically altered as a result, she cannot even bend down and she is noticeably weaker and frailer then she was before,” added Jacqui. “My client requires help from her family around the house and with her shopping and is now unable to pursue any of the activities she used to love and enjoy such as swimming, gardening and going on holiday with her children and grandchildren.”

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to medical negligence.

If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire