Wellers medical negligence case studies

How Wellers has helped medical negligence claim clients

Wellers Law Group represents those who have suffered medical negligence. We help them seek the justice they deserve. Our medical negligence solicitors have acted in the following claims.

Failure to properly treat post-operative infection. Failure to take proper account of allergies

Our client had undergone private cosmetic surgery. At the post-op check, the surgeon diagnosed post-operative infection and prescribed oral antibiotics. However, the patient should have been admitted for IV antibiotics on an urgent basis. The surgeon also prescribed the wrong antibiotics, choosing one which was not suitable for patients allergic to penicillin. When the mistake was discovered, the surgeon then failed to date the replacement prescription, resulting in a total delay of 48 hours before the correct treatment began.

Our client was then admitted to an NHS hospital where, after a brief course of IV antibiotics, she was discharged. By this time the infection had resulted in an abscess, however, the NHS hospital failed to properly read an ultrasound scan and correctly diagnose the abscess. Two days later, our client was admitted again as an emergency. She was suffering from sepsis. At this point, the abscess was surgically drained, but the infection had spread resulting in a further abscess, which also had to be surgically drained.

The negligence of both parties resulted in extensive surgical scarring and psychiatric injury.

We helped our client to recover £65,000 in damages.

Failure to diagnose and delayed treatment of thrombus in iliofemoral artery

Following the delivery of her baby by Caesarean section, our client suffered severe bleeding from a uterine artery and she had to undergo surgery for a hysterectomy and then further laparotomy to stop the bleeding.

A few hours after this surgery she began to complain of pain in her foot. Although obstetric patients are known to be vulnerable to arterial occlusion, our client was advised that the pain was due to immobility. Over a period of 12 hours, the client continued to complain of pain in her foot until she was screaming in agony.

Our client was examined by doctors who considered several diagnoses including possible DVT but failed to appreciate that the pain was caused by nerve damage due to arterial occlusion. A blockage or thrombus had formed in the iliofemoral artery following the surgery to stop the bleed, impeding blood flow to the leg and foot.

Around 12 hours later, it was found that there was no pulse in the foot at which point the correct diagnosis was made. Our client then underwent surgery to remove the blockage. By this time, there was severe damage to her lower leg and foot, caused by the lack of blood supply and she underwent several further surgeries.

She suffered foot drop because of nerve damage. This was corrected but left her with her ankle fixed in a 90 degree position. She underwent a fasciotomy to reduce pressure in the leg, leaving her with extensive scarring. Because of the medical negligence suffered, she was unable to care for her newborn baby, and her career as a singer was ended.

We obtained £600,000 in medical negligence compensation for the client as a result of the failure to diagnose and delayed treatment.

Delayed diagnosis and treatment of serious wound infection resulting in gangrene

Our client was an elderly gentleman who suffered from diabetes. Having developed a blister on his foot, community nurses dressed the wound twice weekly. Despite the wound constantly worsening, they failed to call in the doctor to prescribe antibiotics.

The foot developed a foul odour, however, despite our client’s wife protesting her suspicions that the foot was gangrenous, the nurses failed to take action. Eventually, our client was taken to hospital as an emergency and by that time it was necessary to amputate a toe and part of the foot. The impact of this on our client was immense and he failed to recover, instead going into a steep mental and physical decline. He died within 18 months.

We helped the family to obtain £30,000 in medical negligence compensation on his behalf.

Failure to diagnose perforated bowel following surgical investigation of endometriosis

Our client had undergone surgery for investigation of endometriosis. The operation involved the surgeon freeing very thick adhesions using a thermal scalpel.

It was later shown that during this process he caused a perforation in the patient’s bowel, which was not noticed at the time. The client was readmitted to the hospital the day after her discharge with obvious clinical signs of sepsis and a swollen tender abdomen. At first, it was mistakenly thought that there were no signs of bowel perforation and then there were delays before a CT scan was ordered.

The scan was at first considered inconclusive and there were further delays before a specialist registrar, who had failed to answer his pager, reviewed the images of the scan. As a result of this series of delays, surgery to deal with the perforated bowel did not begin until almost two days after the client had been readmitted to hospital.

As a result, a section of bowel had to be removed which resulted in the patient needing to wear a colostomy bag for almost two years. She was left with ongoing abdominal and pelvic pain affecting her ability to work. The physical damage meant her chances of conceiving a child were affected, she was more likely to suffer from bowel obstructions and is at increased risk of needing surgery for hernia repair.

We obtained £150,000 in medical negligence compensation as a result of the failure to diagnose our client’s perforated bowel.

Failure to provide adequate post-surgical follow up. Delayed diagnosis of avascular necrosis

Our client, an elderly lady, suffered a fracture to the neck of her femur when she fell whilst walking her dog. She underwent surgery to reduce and fix the fracture with surgical screws.

However, because our client was suffering from osteopenia, the screws worked loose and so the joint did not heal. No follow-up appointment at a fracture clinic had been arranged by the hospital and so the problem was not detected or treated.

Expert evidence showed that while the operation had not been carried negligently, and so the result would have been the same, the delayed diagnosis of the subsequent failure of the repair had resulted in several months of increased pain and suffering.

We obtained £13,000 in damages for our client.

Negligent dispensation of the wrong drug by a pharmacist

Our client, who suffered from epilepsy, was negligently given the wrong drug by a locum pharmacist. Our client did not notice the mistake as it had been a new prescription. The dose she was instructed to take was 10 times the safe dose.

Following the first dose, our client suffered heart failure and was admitted to hospital as an emergency. Thankfully, she survived but was very ill and spent several weeks on the cardiac unit. As a result of the incident, our client went on to suffer chronic fatigue, a worsening of her epilepsy, PTSD, and agoraphobia.

Our medical negligence solicitor team obtained £30,000 in damages for her.

Misdiagnosis by hospital doctors of Norovirus. True diagnosis Gastric Ulcer

Our client’s wife had recently been diagnosed with a heliobactor infection which is a condition known to cause gastric ulcers. She subsequently became ill with vomiting and abdominal pain.

In the hospital where she was taken as an emergency, there was an outbreak of Norovirus. On admission, the doctors assumed the patient’s symptoms were due to Norovirus despite being told they were not by her daughter. There were persistent failures on various wards to take basic clinical observations, most particularly blood pressure.

The patient became increasingly ill, vomiting huge amounts of blood and, tragically, she died of heart failure. This would not have happened had healthcare staff either listened to the patient’s daughter or taken proper observations, leading to her being escalated to the appropriate clinical staff.

We obtained medical negligence compensation of £85,000 for the family.

Misdiagnosis of underactive thyroid and grossly negligent overprescribing of medication

Our client, worrying that she was slightly overweight, saw her GP who misdiagnosed her as suffering from an underactive thyroid. There followed many years in which our client was prescribed levothyroxine by her GP at toxic doses, well in excess of the acceptable maximum.

This resulted in induced thyrotoxicosis in our client which was characterised by a raft of symptoms such as debilitating fatigue, panic attacks, sleep deprivation, heart palpitations, poor balance, muscle wasting, excessive sweating, high blood pressure, thinning of the skin, brittle nails and hair loss.

The combination of these symptoms over a period of 15 years was life-changing. Throughout this period, the GP failed to monitor the client’s blood pressure or hormone levels adequately or at all. Actions all deemed to be medically negligent.

We obtained the sum of £175,000 in damages for misdiagnosis medical negligence.

Contact the Wellers Law Group medical negligence team

For professional, experienced legal advice and representation for your medical negligence claim contact Wellers on 0208 290 7958 and ask to speak to one of our medical negligence solicitors. Alternatively, email Penny.Langdon@wellerslawgroup.com.