Surgical Error Claims
Most of us will need to undergo a surgical procedure at some point in our lives. The vast majority of times, the surgery will be completed to a high standard with no complications. Obviously there are inherent risks associated with different types of surgery and these need to be described in details by the medical professional prior to the procedure being carried out, however, if unnecessary harm has been caused by a surgical error, poor equipment or poor surgical technique, you could qualify to make a medical negligence claim for compensation. If the surgical error has caused a serious illness or disability, no amount of money would make up for the distress caused, but it could help with general day to day living, for example, if your home will need to be customised due to you suffering a permanent disability.
There is a large field of surgical procedures that has seen clinical negligence cases brought about after negligence has been proved. A non-exhaustive list includes –
- Cosmetic or plastic surgery
- Errors with anaesthetics
- Eye surgery
- Gastroenterological surgery
- Gynaecological surgery
- Heart surgery
- Keyhole surgery
- Orthopaedic surgery
- Urological surgery
Specific procedures that have seen cases brought are for surgical error claim compensation are –
- Cosmetic surgery errors
- Excessive scarring
- Failed vasectomies and sterilisations
- Informed consent no obtained
- Laser eye surgery errors
- Perforation of organs mistakenly
- Poor post operative care which includes haemorrhaging and deep vein thrombosis
- Procedures failed to be adhered to during the operation
- Surgery conducted on incorrect parts or organs of the body
- Surgical damage to nerves, tissue and veins
- Surgical equipment left inside the patient after the operation has concluded
If you are considering making a medical negligence claim after having been subject to a surgical error during a medical procedure you may wish to view the following sections.
Successful Surgical Error Claims
Examples of successful medical negligence claims in the past for surgical error compensation include two cases conducted by Irwin Mitchell and Thompsons solicitors.
In the first case, Irwin Mitchell successfully helped a widow receive £62,500 in compensation after her husband sadly dies after a surgical procedure. The procedure was for elective endoscopic insertion of a gastric balloon under sedation as part of a plan to treat the gentleman’s obesity. The surgery appeared to go successfully, however, the following day the patient began to vomit violently which was put down to dehydration by the hospital medical team. This was an incorrect diagnosis as the patient was in fact suffering from a gastrointestinal bleed which tragically proved to be fatal.
The second case involved a surgical procedure to remove a patient’s gall bladder, but during the operation damage was made to the common bile duct which resulted in additional pain and suffering and a risk of future complications. Initially the patient made a complaint to the NHS but the NHS trust was unwilling to admit that a mistake was made and even went so far as to suggest that it happened because the patient “was fat”. Thompsons solicitors took on the medical negligence case and shortly before the trial date, a settlement was made for £30,000.