A claim for a psychological injury due to surgeon negligence has been resolved out of court in favour of a sixty-six year old woman from Essex.
In 2010, Sylvia Ramsay underwent thyroid surgery at the private Spire Roding Hospital in Essex. Prior to the operation, Sylvia – who has a severe phobia of medical equipment – found out it was possible to have the surgery performed using dissolvable stitches rather than metal clips.
Sylvia asked consultant surgeon Dr Akineye Ojo if it was possible for him to use the stitches rather than the clips and she was under the impression that he had consented to her wishes. However, one year after the surgery, an x-ray ordered to investigate Sylvia´s breathing difficulties found the presence of twenty-five metal clips.
The realisation that she had medical equipment inside of her caused a severe psychological injury to Sylvia. Such was the degree of her panic that her GP was close to sectioning her under the Mental Health Act. Sylvia underwent months of therapy to help her cope with the fact that she had medical equipment inside of her and to prepare for further surgery in 2013 to have the clips removed.
Sylvia sought legal advice and made a claim for a psychological injury due to surgeon negligence against the Spire Roding Hospital and Dr Ojo. The consultant surgeon denied that he had deliberately ignored Sylvia´s request to use dissolvable stitches and claimed that the use of metal clips was due to a misunderstanding.
Sylvia pursued her claim for a psychological injury due to surgeon negligence and Dr Ojo eventually agreed to a settlement of her claim without an admission of liability. The exact amount of the settlement has not been disclosed, but has been reported as being in five figures.
Speaking after her claim for a psychological injury due to surgeon negligence had been settled, Sylvia told her local newspaper: “I know this is not a rational reaction but it is not something I can control. It´s like putting an arachnophobe into a room full of spiders and telling them not to be so silly.”