Hospital admits failing to properly treat appendicitis
I act for a client in a claim for damages following negligent clinical care after the onset of acute appendicitis.
On admission to the hospital, my client underwent a CT scan which confirmed that he was suffering from appendicitis. He was consented for an open appendectomy. The clinical notes record that the procedure involved division of the appendix at its base with the surgeon encountering difficulties with dissection towards the tip. Absent from the operation note was whether the appendix base was closed and if it was closed, how it was managed.
This, our medical expert, stated was negligence. Upon investigation, the hospital admitted that there was inadequate closure of the appendix stump resulting in the need for further surgery and a significantly longer recovery period that would otherwise have been expected.
My client was in fact discharged from hospital 3 days post-operatively. He re-attended 2 days later and was given blood tests indicating the presence of sepsis. A CT scan showed that he had a small bowel obstruction. He was managed conservatively for the next two days in terrible pain. With no real improvement, the surgeon suspected peritonitis and my client were consented for a laparoscopy.
My client was found to have generalised 4-quadrant peritonitis with a dehiscence of the appendix stump. He underwent a laparotomy and a primary closure with the formation of a proximal stoma for an ileostomy that remained in situ for the following 7 months. The one-piece system had to be emptied 5-6 times a day and changed every other day during this time. My client was unable to work, remained indoors much of the time and required constant care from his family, night and day.
My client has suffered with recurrent infections and depression. Since the reversal, he reports continuing global weakness which is expected to continue for up to 3 years before plateauing. He has increased urinary urgency now and is left with significant surgical scarring. He cannot do DIY or pursue his hobbies as he used to.
But for the negligence, my client would have likely made an uneventful recovery over a 6 week period and avoided all above sequelae. As a consequence of the error, he is now at increased risk of further injury such as hernias which could require surgery in the future.
A routine surgery has, in this case, resulted in lifelong injury to my client caused by the admitted negligence of the hospital treating him. He can expect a substantial award in damages as a result. If you or a member of your family has been involved in something similar, contact our Injury and Medical Claims team for specialist advice as to how we might be able to help.