Matthew Brown one of our experienced litigators, achieved an out of court settlement of £35,000 for a 67-year-old man who suffered a delay in diagnosis and treatment of appendicitis.

John attended A&E on 31st May 2015 complaining of lower abdominal pain, loss of appetite and altered bowel habit. Blood and urine tests were taken which showed a raised white cell count and altered liver enzymes. There was no note of an abdominal examination to test for rebound tenderness, nor was he referred for scans or for surgical opinion. He was discharged home.  

On the 2nd June 2015, John was readmitted by ambulance to A&E and was diagnosed as suffering a ruptured appendix. He underwent open surgery on the 3rd June 2015. On the 5th June 2015 a CT scan revealed a post-operative collection in his abdomen which required drainage. Despite this, he was taken off the antibiotic, Tazocin on the 6th June 2015. Antibiotics were then restarted but only 48 hours later. 

In our Letter of Claim we alleged that on the 31st May 2015, there had been a failure to consider a differential diagnosis of appendicitis; a failure to properly examine his abdomen; a failure to seek surgical opinion and a failure to arrange scans. Appendicitis would have been diagnosed before rupture. Also that John was prematurely taken off antibiotics, when infection was still present. This prolonged his infection. 

The Defendants admitted all of the allegations made and admitted the alleged consequences. A series of offers and counter-offers were made and this case settled out of court for the sum of £35,000, which mainly represented pain and suffering but with an element of care provided by his family following his surgery. This was not a high value case as John had recovered quite quickly despite the complications and so hadn’t suffered any long period of financial hardship.

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Our surgery claims expert:

Caroline Moore

Managing Director/Head of Sheffield Office

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