We acted on behalf of a young woman who suffered a potentially life-threatening condition as a result of substandard medical care provided at an emergency doctor’s appointment, out of hours.
Our client attended the emergency appointment at the hospital complaining of severe abdominal pain. She had been on holiday at the time and first experienced stomach symptoms a few days before the hospital appointment. The pain increased in severity causing her to vomit on a couple of occasions. It became apparent that that the situation was potentially serious, as the pain was excruciating and so she called NHS Direct and was advised to attend hospital for an emergency appointment. Despite providing a detailed history of her symptoms over the previous days, the doctor failed to perform an examination of our client’s abdomen and provided no advice on follow-up treatment. She was prescribed antibiotics for a suspected urinary infection.
Our client’s condition did not improve and over the next two days she continued to experience severe pain. She arranged a further appointment at the earliest opportunity at her GP surgery. Her stomach was examined by her GP and she was advised to again attend hospital straightaway. She was provided with a referral letter for the purpose of excluding appendicitis. On being seen at hospital, she was examined and underwent scans that revealed that she had suffered a ruptured appendix. She would require urgent surgery. It was found that a large abscess had formed.
When investing the standard of care received by our client by the hospital, we were able to obtain expert evidence to show that there was an unacceptable failure by the out of hours doctor to refer our client to hospital for full investigation. It was also established that there was a fundamental failure by the initial doctor to examine the abdomen of our client when she first attended with her symptoms.
Our investigations also revealed that had our client received appropriate treatment she would, on the balance of probabilities, avoided the ruptured appendix and therefore the need for surgery, which resulted in a disfiguring 5 inch long abdominal scar. Our client would also have avoided complications with her wound, the infection, a prolonged period of acute abdominal pain, including increased abdominal discomfort after eating and variable bowel function.
We have been able to secure damages for our client to compensate her for all the additional suffering that she experienced as a result of the clinical negligence. The compensation also reflects the scarring that she has suffered, the disruption that the pain and treatment caused to her studies and the long-term risks that arise from an operation of this nature. We also recovered compensation for our client to enable her to undergo scar revision surgery on a private basis, in the future, when she believes the time is right.
If you are the victim of medical negligence - involving a GP, surgeon, consultant, dentist, nurse or other health professional, call IBB Claims' experienced compensation experts today on 0333 123 9099 to begin your claim or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.