Woman Compensated for Dislocated Jaw

A woman, who injured whilst undergoing surgery to remove miscarried foetuses, has been awarded a six-figure settlement of compensation after it transpired the surgical mask had severely dislocated her jaw.

The accident occurred in December 2010, just after Amanda Walker (forty-eight from Knaresborough in North Yorkshire) tragically discovered that she had miscarried twins. Shortly after hearing this news, she was scheduled to attend an operation at the Harrogate District Hospital such that the foetuses could be remove. Yet, upon awaking after the operation, Amanda discovered that she was unable to move her jaw and that she had a severe pain down the side of her face.

Doctors at the hospital attributed the pain to a pre-existing condition that Amanda had been diagnosed with ten years earlier.  However, when Amanda visited her dentist to investigate this diagnosis, she discovered that her jaw had been misaligned and that she had sustained severe tissue damage. A MRI scan revealed that Amanda’s jaw injury was comparable with those seen in car crash victims. Due to the pain and severity of the injury, Amanda has been unable to return to her job in marketing.

Once the diagnosis was made, Amanda underwent four corrective surgeries, one of which involved the insertion of an implant. Though the Harrogate District Hospital maintained that the injury was due to a pre-existing condition, Amanda chose to consult a solicitor. The solicitor, in turn, carried out an investigation which concluded that the way in which the surgical mask was applied to Amanda was the cause of her injury, and not a pre-existing condition.

Amanda proceeded to make a claim for medical negligence compensation, but the claim was contested by the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust until very recently. However, a six-figure settlement of compensation was awarded when the trust finally admitted their liability in the surgical mask injury.

The Medical Director of the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, Dr David Scullion, commented that “The Trust is pleased an agreement has been reached. We have apologised to Ms Walker for the impact this injury has had on her. We conducted an investigation into Ms Walker’s care with us in 2010 and want to give assurance that we have learned all we can from this incident.”

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Claim for Laparoscopy Negligence Resolved at Court

A claim for laparoscopy negligence has been resolved at a hearing of the High Court in London with the approval of a multi-million pound compensation settlement.

In March 2010, the claimant – who wishes to remain anonymous – was admitted to the Hope Hospital in Manchester to undergo a laparoscopy procedure to remove a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. At the age of 22, the woman worked as a hairdresser, was in a serious relationship and had an active social life.

However, during the laparoscopy procedure, the woman´s aorta was punctured. The patient suffered such significant blood loss that her circulation collapsed and her heart stopped. During the medical emergency, the woman´s brain was starved of oxygen and she is now permanently brain damaged.

Due to the brain damage, the woman is unable to represent herself legally and a claim for laparoscopy negligence was made on her behalf by her mother. In 2012 the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability and a hearing was scheduled to determine how much compensation for laparoscopy negligence the woman should receive.

Before the hearing could take place, a settlement of the claim for laparoscopy negligence was negotiated. The deal involved a lump-sum payment of £2 million plus annual index-linked payments for the rest of the woman´s life. Like all claims made on behalf of claimants unable to represent themselves, before the settlement could be finalized it had to be approved by a judge.

Consequently at the High Court in London, Mrs Justice Swift was told about the circumstances that led to the woman´s catastrophic brain injury. The judge heard how the claimant depends on a wheelchair for her mobility, has severe cognitive deficits and will always require 24-hour care. An apology was also read to the court on behalf of the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

Approving the settlement of the claim for laparoscopy negligence, Mrs Justice Swift commented that the claimant (now 27 years old) was generally cheerful and had a good sense of humour and said: “I hope that this substantial settlement will at least ensure she has the best possible quality of life in the years to come and I wish her and the other members of her family the very best for the future”.

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Cataract Surgery Suspended at Devon Hospital due to Consultant Eye Surgeon Negligence

Cataract surgery was temporarily suspended at the Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay after consultant eye surgeon negligence was attributed to several patients being administered an overdose of antibiotics.

The consultant eye surgeon negligence was revealed after two patients – who had undergone cataract surgery at the Mount Stuart Hospital – attended the Emergency Department of nearby Torbay Hospital complaining of painful eyes.

Examinations of both patients revealed that an overdose of antibiotics had been administered during their respective procedures on July 26, and the Mount Stuart Hospital was alerted straight away.  The Mount Stuart Hospital immediately suspended cataract surgery and launched an investigation.

The results of the investigation showed that the overdose had been caused by the antibiotic having been administered intracamerally (into a chamber deeper within the eye) when the dilution of the antibiotic had been prepared for sub-conjunctive use (just underneath the clear surface of the eye).

A hospital spokesperson explained that the same antibiotic would have been use for both methods of administration but the concentration mix is much different and the stronger solution should not have been administered intracamerally.

“Process failure” and “human” error” were blamed for the consultant eye surgeon negligence and the consultant surgeon – along with the surgeon´s assistant and a circulating practitioner – was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.

All nineteen patients who underwent cataract surgery at the hospital on July 26 were recalled for an immediate check-up. Two patients were reported as being “seriously harmed” and four others “showed symptoms” of an eye injury. None of the recalled patients required corrective eye surgery.

A Care Quality Commission (CQC) investigation was also launched into the consultant eye surgeon negligence which found that appropriate action had been taken quickly to ensure the safety of patients that had undergone cataract surgery. An apology was also issued by the hospital.

Speaking after the CQC investigation, Gill Gant – from the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group – said: “We are satisfied that the hospital has learned important lessons from this incident and that it has acted swiftly to make the necessary changes that will ensure future safety for patients.”

Cataract Surgery has now been resumed at the Mount Stuart Hospital.

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Boy Awarded £4.8 Million Compensation for Avoidable Renal Failure

A boy of ten has been awarded £4.8 million compensation for an avoidable renal failure after a hearing at the High Court in London

The claim was compensation was made against the Cromwell Hospital in Kensington by the mother of Lucas Tupenny – who had been born at the hospital in January 2004 with a bowel defect. Lucas´ bowel defect was treated by surgeons conducting a colostomy procedure, but during his recovery Lucas went into septic shock and suffered a renal failure.

Lucas had to be placed on a dialysis machine at the age of six months and a year after his birth underwent a kidney transplant. In the subsequent nine years Lucas (now ten years of age) has undergone 28 further operations and spent 149 nights in hospital. His doctors say that future surgery and another kidney transplant is inevitable.

Through his mother – Therese – Lucas made a compensation claim for an avoidable renal failure – alleging that the septic shock was brought on by a breach in the hospital´s duty of care. The hospital admitted liability on 2012 and negotiations commenced to determine how much compensation for an avoidable renal failure Lucas would be entitled to.

At the High Court in London, Judge Richard Parkes heard that an agreement had been reached for £4.8 million and was told by Lucas´ mother “we absolutely think the amount is fair. Lucas has a chronic medical condition and he will need treatment for all his life”.

The judge also watched a video which told the story of Lucas´ life and the challenges he had faced. Lucas was described in court as “enthusiastic, optimistic, energetic and very sociable little boy” and, when the judge enquired after his health, Lucas replied “Good, your Lordship”.

Judge Parkes also heard that Lucas now lives with his mother in Seattle after his parents had divorced. The judge approved the £4.8 million settlement of compensation for an avoidable renal failure and wished the family well – commenting that Therese had shown extraordinary devotion to her son throughout some difficult years.

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