Successful claim in medical negligence case related to hysterectomy

Harper MacLeod has successfully pursued a medical negligence claim for significant damage caused following a hysterectomy - negotiating a settlement in excess of £20,000 for the client.

Harper MacLeod represented the client who underwent the hysterectomy in 2011. The client had been suffering from symptoms including Menorrhagia which was irregular in nature.

Surgery Medical Negligence Claim

Following a consultation with a consultant gynaecologist, it was decided that the client should undergo a hysterectomy via a laparoscopic procedure. At that time, no other options were discussed with the client despite three alternatives being available. Those included:

  1. Treatment of symptoms via medication
  2. Insertion of a Mirena Coil
  3. Embolisation of her uterus

The risks of the procedure offered were also not disclosed, depriving the client of her ability to make an informed choice regarding her course of treatment.

What went wrong

It is widely accepted that a laparascopic hysterectomy procedure carries risk of damage to the ureter, however, during the procedure certain other difficulties presented themselves which were likely to increase the risk of a uretric injury. On our clients behalf we argued that not only did the consultant fail to appropriately assess those difficulties but he also failed to identify the ureter in an appropriate manner. He simply was not live to the risk of a uretric injury.

There were a number of steps that he could have taken to avoid the risk of such an injury but he failed to take those steps. He also failed to seek a second opinion and guidance from an urologist. As such, he failed to act within the usual and normal practice and his actions would not have been adopted by an ordinary gynaecologist had they been acting with ordinary care.

During the procedure, the client’s left ureter was damaged, however, that damage went un-noticed by the consultant. Had the consultant recognised the damage, he could have taken steps to rectify that and the client would not have been left in the position that she found herself.

As a result of the consultant’s actions, the client was left with significant damage to her left ureter. This resulted in the client suffering with symptoms associated with bladder control as well as pain and discomfort in her groin and psychological difficulties. The client required further surgical procedures as a result of the damage, which included re-implantation of her left ureter, to rectify the situation. That procedure was carried out within another NHS hospital.

An acceptable settlement

The case was brought in the Court of Session, however, just weeks prior to the Hearing, following consultations with the defender’s representatives, we were able to negotiate an agreeable settlement, for the client, in excess of £20,000.

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