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.”