A man who underwent an operation on his brain, which would not have been performed if the results of a blood test had been checked properly, has resolved his compensation claim for unnecessary surgery.
Sixty-three year old John Tunney – from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands – underwent an operation on his brain at the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry in April 2008, after doctors found an abnormal growth around his pituitary gland on an MRI scan.
However, instead of taking a biopsy of the abnormal growth, the surgeon conducting the brain operation removed healthy brain tissue which resulted in John suffering a brain haemorrhage. Due to the haemorrhage, John is partly blind and needs support 24 hours a day.
After being discharged from hospital, John learned that the operation on his brain had not even been necessary. It became apparent that doctors had failed to properly check the results of a blood test that showed the abnormal growth was a prolactinoma – a common and benign pituitary tumour that can be treated with medication.
After seeking legal advice, John made a compensation claim for unnecessary surgery due to hospital negligence against the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. After an investigation into the circumstances surrounding John´s unnecessary surgery, the NHS Trust admitted liability and issued John with an apology.
After an evaluation into the care and support that John will need for the remainder of his life, a seven-figure settlement of John´s compensation claim for unnecessary surgery was agreed. John has also requested that the General Medical Council investigate the surgeon who performed the operation.
Speaking after the announcement of the undisclosed settlement, John´s wife – Pamela – told the press: “John’s brain injury has had devastating effects on him. Prior to the surgery, he was a very easygoing person who was always active and on the go. To see the change in him and to know that it was all entirely avoidable is extremely upsetting”.