fbpx
Oakwood Solicitors

Knowledge

Medical Negligence Team – Case Studies Showcase

15:09, 16/9/2021

Home » News & Knowledge » Medical Negligence Team – Case Studies Showcase

Here is a collection of recent case studies from our Medical Negligence department, showcasing not only the variety of matters they help to resolve, but also the figure awarded to the client upon resolution.

 

We’ve tried to offer a variety of cases to give a flavour of the broad range of clients and issues our Medical Negligence team deals with on a weekly basis. Please be aware that due to their nature, some of these scenarios may be distressing or unpleasant to some, depending on the subject matter or individual sensitivities.

Please note that all cases are unique. Due to individual circumstances you can never compare even two seemingly identical cases and expect the same results in either outcome or award.

 

Medical Negligence Team - Case Studies Showcase

 

Delayed diagnosis

The claimant sustained a broken finger whilst participating in a sports activity. At hospital a Buddy Strap was applied but this wasn’t aiding the Claimant, as he continued to experience considerable pain and severe swelling.

Additionally, the diagnostic imaging was not reviewed by an Orthopaedic Specialist within the 48-hour timeframe, as it would be considered reasonable and was not reported until 10 days later.

The claimant returned to the hospital A&E department and underwent further radiology. The results revealed a ‘displaced proximal phalanx complete dislocation’. This led to further examination and radiology by a hand surgeon, and it was determined the Claimant would require an open fixed reduction, where a cast was applied, and he was discharged the same day.

A follow-up appointment revealed the manipulation was unsuccessful and a K-wire was required. After removal, the Claimant underwent several months of hand therapy with lack of progress. The Claimant’s finger remains painful, and now struggles generally with everyday work tasks such as writing and typing.

We successfully settled this claim and obtained the claimant £20,000.

 

Medication error

The Claimant had been taking repeat prescription of Citalopram for the last 10 years. However, the medication dispensed was incorrect on this occasion. After 2 days the claimant started suffering from light-headedness, sore eyes, disturbed sleep, general muscle aches, nausea when looking at food and one fleeting panic attack. These symptoms are extremely unusual for the Claimant.

Eventually, the Claimant’s son thoroughly checked the Citalopram to find the label was correct, although the box of medication itself was Isosorbide Mononitrate and not Citalopram.

In this case, we successfully settled the claim and acquired a sum of £1,400.

 

 

Prescription Error

 

Stillbirth

The Claimant attended an antenatal booking assessment with the community midwife. It was noted that she had had two previous uncomplicated low-risk births.

The Claimant attended a planned antenatal appointment with the community midwife. Upon examination, the midwife queried whether the foetus had entered a breech position. The fundal height was not measured or recorded on the GROW chart.

2 days later, the Claimant attended the Antenatal Day Unit. She was at 38 weeks + 6 days gestation and was attending for a further scan to review the foetal position. There was no evidence to indicate the Claimant was assessed by a midwife, nor was there any indication that any standard antenatal checks were performed.

3 days later, the Claimant arrived at the Maternity Unit. She was examined by a midwife after 5 minutes. The SFH was plotted on the GROW chart at 35cm which was considerably below the 10th centile. The foetal presentation was confirmed as cephalic with the head engaged in an occipito-posterior position, but the midwife was unable to auscultate the foetal heartbeat with a handheld Doppler.

The Obstetric Registrar was asked to attend. A portable ultrasound was performed which was unable to identify foetal heart activity. The conclusion was that there had been an intrauterine foetal death (“ IUFD” ). To confirm the diagnosis, an ultrasound scan was requested in the Radiology Department. The scan was performed later that afternoon.

Defendants attempted to settle this matter at £15,000. However, Oakwood Solicitors‘ expert negotiating team secured settlement at £35,000.00.

Misdiagnosed fracture

The Claimant attended the Hospital on the 26 June 2019 following injuring her right wrist at the gym. She underwent an x-ray examination, which concluded that the Claimant had not sustained a fracture but a soft tissue injury and therefore, she was discharged with analgesia advice.

The Claimant returned to the hospital where she underwent a further physical examination and x-ray examination, which confirmed she had an undisplaced fracture of the right scaphoid. The Claimant underwent an MRI of her right wrist after an administration error, which reported that the fracture united with faint residual marrow high signal only. No other bone, joint or soft tissue abnormality.

Had the Claimant’s scaphoid fracture not been missed, the Claimant would not have experienced approximately four weeks of pain and suffering.

In this situation, we acquired the sum of £13,500.

 

 

Misdiagnosis fracture

 

 

 

Head injury resulting in death

Our Claimant was admitted to respite care, a placement arranged by Social Care whilst her family attended a holiday. Claimant had a pre-existing history of conditions which necessitated care including dementia.

The Claimant, whilst being hoisted, fell from the sling sustaining a head injury. This caused a traumatic brain injury and she passed away 5 weeks later. The claimant had hit her head on the metal bar which forms part of the hoist and this fall resulted in a brain bleed.

An inquest went ahead and the Coroner’s conclusion was that there was a dependency from the Claimant and the evidence pointed to a failure of which was a gross failure to undertake any assessments to observe during hoisting procedure and an improper handling operation.

The Coroner also identified a causal link between the hoisting and the Claimant’s fall resulting in a traumatic brain injury. The Coroner identified neglect on the part of the care home. The medical cause of death was head injury and a fall.

This claim against the care home resulted in a £20,000 settlement sum for the Claimant’s estate.

 

Incorrect medication

The Claimant had been taking a repeat prescription of Mirtazapine 15mg once per day at night. One time, his wife collected the medication instead of the claimant himself. The Claimant began taking the medication on the same date and started to suffer with symptoms soon afterwards such as extreme tiredness, excessive sleeping, increased sweating, and short temper.

The Claimant attended the Emergency Department due to suffering from frontal headaches, fatigue, and sweats. It was noted that the Claimant was dispensed the wrong medication by the Defendant establishment and that he took the incorrect medication for 2 days before seeking medical treatment for his symptoms.

The Claimant’s wife contacted the Defendant establishment on the same date to notify them of the dispensing error. The Defendant establishment advised the Claimants wife to monitor the Claimant as there is a possibility that his heart could stop. Luckily this never happened and the Claimants symptoms resolved relatively quickly.

It was noted that there was a mix up with tablets in the pharmacy – he was given 45mg Mirtazapine instead of 15mg for the last couple of days.

This case was settled for the sum of £3,500.

 

 

Prescription error

 

 

Delayed diagnosis and treatment

The Claimant suffered a splinter to the hand whilst working in his garden. He pulled out the splinter, cleaned his hand and placed on a dressing.

3 days later, the Claimant attended the local hospital with a 3-day history of pain and swelling in his left hand after injuring it on a piece of wood. He was seen by a nurse practitioner who explained that his hand was infected.

She was concerned that a splinter may be remaining in his hand but explained that this would not be visible on a standard x-ray. The Claimant was referred for review at another Hospital. The Claimant attended later that day where he was told his hand was infected and he required antibiotics.

She directed him to attend a different surgery for treatment. On arrival, the Claimant was reviewed by a nurse practitioner who examined his hand and noted the redness and swelling. A small lump on the palm was visible, and the notes query whether a splinter had been retained. The nurse practitioner explained that she needed to contact the orthopaedic team for advice.

There was nobody available from the orthopaedic team to review the Claimant so he was discharged with a prescription for antibiotics and advice that he would be contacted should the orthopaedic team wish to see him.

10 days later, an ultrasound scan was conducted, which recorded a 12mm splinter in the centre of the left palm with a subcutaneous collection. The Claimant was referred immediately to hospital. Subsequently, an Orthopaedic Registrar attempted to remove the splinter under local anaesthetic. The attempt was unsuccessful, and the Claimant was listed for surgery under general anaesthetic.

The Claimant underwent surgery and he procedure was carried out with a nerve block under supervision of an Orthopaedic Consultant. The splinter was removed but a section of the soft tissue surrounding it had to be removed and the nerves and tendons repositioned. The wound was partially closed with stitches, with a drain left in situ to aid internal healing.

The Claimant was discharged with a further prescription of antibiotics and instructions to attend the minor injuries unit every 3 days to have the wound repacked and redressed. The Claimant attended the minor injuries unit for a further 7 weeks until the wound was sufficiently healed.

The Defendants denied liability. However, our team successfully argued the claim and recovered £8,000 in damages for the Claimant.

Negligent surgery

The Claimant attended his GP practice on the 13th of August 2018 due to ongoing abdominal pains, which had started the night before and caused him a sleepless night. Claimant was transferred by the GP practice to the hospital where it was arranged for the Claimant to undergo a Laparoscopic Appendicectomy.

The Claimant was subsequently advised that same day following the operation that he had sustained a burn to his left side.

The Claimant returned to his GP practice, where was prescribed flucloxacillin and given Mepore dressings to keep his wound dry. On that attendance it was confirmed that the Claimant had an infection around the wound site. It was considered that the wound ought to have been packed.

A claim was brought about on the basis that, on the balance of probabilities, had the Laparoscopic Appendectomy been performed to a reasonable standard, the Claimant wound not have sustained a burn from the diathermy equipment and experienced an avoidable prolonged period of recovery, pain and suffering.

Furthermore, had the burn been treated appropriately at this juncture, the Claimant would not have experienced an infection of the wound leading to an additional period of pain and suffering and time of work associated with the same.

This claim was brought to settlement for the sum of £5,500.

 

 

Surgical Negligence

Failure to refer

The Claimant had a chest x-ray and a CT Scan whilst an inpatient with Sepsis that required amputation. It was noted that there was a shadow on the Claimants Lung which appeared on radiology and there was intention to refer the Claimant for further investigation.

A Respiratory review was suggested however, the Hospital failed to refer the Claimant for a follow up chest x-ray for any further investigation.

The Claimant was experiencing chest pains and a shortness of breath. An X-ray was conducted, and the Claimant was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. The Claimant passed away a month later.

The Defendants admitted breach of duty, however no admissions were made in relation to the extent of harm caused. We successfully argued this claim despite the partial denial of liability from the Defendant and settled this case for £63,500.

 

Fall from ambulance trolley

The Claimant was going to be transported via an ambulance to Hospital for sudden onset hip pain. The Claimant was placed onto the ambulance trolley and strapped in. The Ambulance team proceeded to take her out the front door.

As the Claimant went out the front gate, one of the Ambulance crew turned to close the door, without informing their colleague who continued pulling the trolley, when subsequently the Claimant fell and landed on her right side.

The Claimant asked the ambulance crew if they were going to tell the doctor at the hospital what had happened. He said he would and also make an accident report. After a long wait, the doctors examined the Claimant and sent her for an x-ray and said that it was a muscle spasm. The Claimant was discharged with codeine to help with the pain.

After negotiations with the defendant, the claimant received £1,400 which brought settlement to the claim.

 

800px Trolley

 

Negligent care

The Claimant was admitted to Hospital and a pressure ulcer risk assessment indicated that she had limited mobility, requiring the help of one other to walk and able to perform slight position changes. On examination, her skin was recorded as ‘vulnerable’ over each pressure area.

A further risk assessment was performed which recorded that the Claimant was “at risk” of pressure ulcer development, given her poor mobility without independent movement, poor nutrition, and unplanned weight loss.

The first SSKIN assessment took place, and no skin damage was recorded. The Claimant was turned, and damage was noted to her left buttock with reddening observed to her right buttock, sacrum, and hips. The Claimant was incontinent of faeces on eight occasions, but the application of barrier cream was not recorded.

She would require 2-hourly turning, which was not undertaken. The Claimant was incontinent of faeces on four occasions during her inspections, but again the provision of barrier cream is not documented.

Claimant was referred to the Tissue Viability Nurse (TVN), who recorded “infected pressure ulcer to sacrum”.

The Claimant was bathed in Octenisan and repositioned in bed. It was noted that the sacrum dressing required changing. The Claimant was discharged from hospital that day and referred to a Care Home, where the presence of a category 4 sacrum pressure ulcer was noted on admission.

This claim was settled for the sum of £20,000.

 

Wound infection

The Claimant was admitted to the hospital with generalized abdominal pain localizing to the right iliac fossa. The Claimant underwent laparoscopic appendicectomy to remove an inflamed, non-perforated retrocecal appendix.  An inadequate portion of the appendix was removed. The Claimant was discharged home with oral antibiotics but began to suffer severe abdominal pain and had been vomiting.

He was re-admitted to the Hospital through A&E and was taken to theatre having consented to a diagnostic laparoscopy with or without a stoma. At operation, peritonitis contained to the pelvis and the right pericolic gutter were found. It was noted that there was a “Perforated retrocecal appendix at the tip.”

The operation was converted to a midline laparotomy. An appendicectomy and washout was performed. Drains were removed two days post operatively and the Claimant was discharged home.

A week later the Claimant was readmitted to the hospital with a wound infection. He was discharged the following day. The Claimant has suffered an avoidable second operation, an avoidable wound infection and avoidable significant pre-operative and post-operative pain and peritonitis.

Our Medical Negligence secured £15,000 for the Claimant.

 

Failure to diagnose

The Claimant awoke his mother due to sudden onset abdominal pain and vomiting. The Claimant’s mother rang 111 after the Claimant took paracetamol causing him to be sick and was advised to attend the A&E Department. The Claimant found it difficult to sit or stand due to the pain and cried as a result.

The Claimant was discharged with no examination of the Claimant’s scrotum being completed. The Claimant kept on complaining of pain in his abominable area and was unable to sit or stand and was doubled over in pain whilst in the A & E Department. A nurse had however pressed on the Claimant’s stomach and a urine sample taken.

Acute appendicitis was presumed and testicular torsion despite it being well recognised that pain from a right sided torsion may radiate to the abdomen, mimicking acute appendicitis.

The Claimant had been unable to eat without being sick, in which he returned to the A & E Department at the Hospital. On this attendance, it was noted that the Claimant had abdominal pain and had sore and swollen testicles and advised he had taken Ibuprofen to help with the pain.

The Claimant’s observations were stable, but he was in pain when walking. The Claimant underwent a Testicular examination where it was noted that he had swelling in the right testicle and mild testicular tenderness especially over epididymis.

It was considered the Claimant was likely to be suffering from hydrocele. Still no examination of the Claimant’s scrotum had been completed and he did not consider the diagnosis of testicular torsion.

A recent systematic review concluded that the likelihood of salvaging a testis which has been torted for more than 10 hours was negligible. It was also concluded that testicular torsion requires surgical detorsion as soon as possible (within 4–8 hours) before ischaemic damage occurs.

In this case the defendant accepted the claimants offer of £22,430, which brought settlement to the claim.

 

 

Failure to Diagnose

 

 

Incorrect medication

The Claimant has been taking Spironolactone for his severe liver condition for the past few years. However, on this occasion, he was dispensed with the incorrect medication Sertraline. After taking the medication the Claimant started vomiting, having diarrhoea and heart palpitations which are unusual symptoms for the Claimant.

4 days later the Claimant checked the box realising the pharmacy had put the correct label on the wrong medication. The pharmacy apologised and re-issued the correct medication. Claimant had blood tests done at the hospital as routine to check as Sertraline box says not to take if you have a liver condition.

In this case, we successfully settled the claim and acquired a sum of £1,000.

 

Negligent care

The Claimant was treated by the same dentist for approximately 20 years. During this time, the dentist failed to complete Basic Periodontal Examinations (BPE) and bitewing radiographs every two years.

Upon the dentist retiring, the Claimant was seen by an alternative dentist. Here the Claimant was informed he had generalised chronic periodontal disease and he required specialist periodontal treatment. The Claimant subsequently attended 30-minute hygienist appointments.

Thereafter, the Claimant was diagnosed with progressive bone loss and he was told his UR8 and LL6 required extraction.

The Defendants attempted to settle this claim at £4,250.00. However, our specialist team argued the Claimant’s case and secured compensation to the amount of £9,750.

 

Unnecessary surgery

The Claimant was in Hospital to have tumours removed due to bowel cancer. He had some operations but was advised he needed to be transferred to another Hospital to have a further operation of a stent being placed near his stomach due to a blockage.

An invasive angioplasty was completed and it was not until after the operation the hospital realised they had not looked at all of his notes. The operation they performed was not required and was entirely avoidable.

The Claimant had to wait another couple of weeks to have the correct operation which left him with wounds on his leg and arm took about 8 months to heal. Consequently, the Claimant’s third left toe required amputation and as a result of the delay in treating the iliac disease the Claimant’s second left toe required amputation that was found to be avoidable.

The Defendants made an opening offer of £8,000. However, Oakwood Solicitors successfully argued the Claimant’s case and secured settlement at £28,000.

 

 

Surgical Negligence

 

 

Negligent treatment

The Claimant had been attending the dentist in September 2018. During this consultant it was noted that the Claimant had some early signs of decay of her back tooth. The Claimant’s tooth was not restored and there was no treatment that was provided to the client.

Some 7 months later the Claimant’s tooth was so damaged that she now required a root canal treatment. The root canal was not adequately preformed and this resulted in the loss of the back tooth.

It was the Claimant’s case that had she had the correct treatment back in September 2018 then she would have only required a small restoration and that had the root canal treatment been preformed correctly then the Claimant would not have lose the tooth.

The Defendant made no admission on this case but following expert negotiations, the claim was settled for £6,000.

Incorrect medication

The Claimant was being seen for abdominal pain, in which she was provided with as strong painkiller and was provided with anti-sickness medication. Following the Claimant picking up her repeat prescription she started to suffer with sickness, which inevitably aggravated her condition.

The Claimant also reported being irritable, abnormal body temperatures and uncontrollable shaking. She then lost the ability to simply get out of bed.

The Claimant looked up the medication she had been given; she had been given anti-gout medication which was the incorrect treatment. After being advised by a 111 call, she attended hospital the same day to be reviewed by the toxicology team.

Oakwood Solicitors determination assisted in settling the claim within 3 months of instruction for £1,200 which was 20% over the Defendant’s offer.

Delay in treatment

The Claimant was admitted to a Welsh Hospital after falling through wooden decking steps at her caravan down in Cardigan, West Wales. Due to her extensive co-morbidities surgical repair was seen as too risky, therefore a cast was applied, and she was admitted to a ward. The Claimant was noted to be in extreme pain from the injury and morphine was commenced.

Claimant had deteriorated. The pseudo-obstruction of the bowel was noted with very high inflammatory markers. A CT scan of abdomen was performed showing mild bowel dilation.

There was a fluid filled blister that had accumulated noted at the left side of the umbilicus. Claimant was assessed by the medical registrar who has increased concerns over the Claimant’s health as her vital signs started to change. Advice was sought from a microbiologist who suggested the used of antibiotic treatment with a combination of meropenem, vancomycin & rifampicin because of the high risk of bacterial endocarditis.

However, there was a delay in providing the antibiotic treatment. There was a surgical review, which considered there was a possible abdominal wall abscess or a fistula and a CT scan was requested.

CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis noted that there was newly developed extensive emphysema and inflammatory change which had been missed, resulting in the Claimant suffering from necrotising fasciitis (also known as the flesh-eating disease.)

The Defendants made no admissions of liability. However, Oakwood Solicitors successfully negotiated a settlement of £7,500. This is 50% more than what was advised by the leading barrister.

 

 

Delays in medical treatment

Failure to refer

The Claimant attended the Accident and Emergency Unit following an accident when using a metal grinder. He was concerned that a piece of metal may have entered his left eye. On inspection, the nurse noted a foreign body sensation. He was prescribed with eye-drops. A foreign body was not located, and he was not referred to the appropriate clinician, but discharged.

10 days later, his symptoms failed to improve and became more painful, so he attended A&E again. A foreign body was immediately identified and removed.  As a result of the delay of diagnosis, the Claimant had stromal scarring.

The hospital in question accepted liability and offered £1,000 compensation, however due to Oakwood Solicitors expert service we managed to secure a settling sum of £9,000.

 

Negligent advice

This case involved a supplying issue of catheters whilst the Claimant was incarcerated in prison.

The Healthcare Department advised the Claimant to re-use his previous catheters by cleaning the same with a steri-wipe, despite the clear instructions provided with the catheter being ‘single-use only’. This led to the Claimant suffering with a prolonged period of urinary tract infections and development of a epididymal cyst, requiring multiple hospital attendances.

Partial admissions were made by the Defendant regarding liability and an opening offer of £1,500.00 was put forward.

After lengthy negotiations, this matter settled for £4,750.00, taking into account an avoidable 4 month period of pain and suffering including the development of a epidydimal cyst as a result of the urinary tract infection.

 

Oakwood Solicitors Ltd

 

Why should I choose Oakwood Solicitors Ltd to represent me in my case?

We have a dedicated team of solicitors and paralegals who have many years’ experience between them in running medical negligence claims of many different kinds, and are highly trained to do so.

Oakwood Solicitors Ltd wishes to ensure that clients are not overwhelmed by legal jargon or medical terms that they don’t understand and aims to allow the claims procedure to be as transparent as possible.

 

WHAT TO DO NEXT

Get in touch today for a no-obligation initial consultation in complete confidence. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.

Meet the author

Carol Cook joined Oakwood Solicitors in May 2017 to lead the Medical Negligence department. She handles a wide range of Clinical and Dental Negligence claims and has a specialist interest in Birth…

Find out more

We would love to hear your comments or feedback

Bowel Cancer – Case Study

The Claimant - a middle-aged man - attended his General Practitioner on multiple occasions over an extended period of time, reporting blood in his stools.

View

Incorrect Medication – Case Study

Our client approached us after she was incorrectly dispensed the wrong medication following falling ill with tonsillitis. Shortly after taking the medication she began t…

View

Medical Consent – Case Study

Consent is an important element of medical treatment for both patient and treating clinician. Participating in valid consent gives the patient access to the chosen medical tr…

View

Knowledge categories

Why Oakwood?

Here at Oakwood Solicitors, we’re not your average law firm – our team delivers a service which caters to you. From assessing your case through to completion, our staff have not only the knowledge and expertise, but also the compassion and understanding to put you at ease throughout the process.

Get in touch in a way that suits you:

Call us on 0113 200 9787 or

Request a call back

Use our Enquiry form to get you on the right track:

Enquiry form

Reach us by email:

Email
Loading

Cookies

This website uses cookies. You can read more information about why we do this, and what they are used for here.

Accept Decline