Christine Brown, a senior solicitor, settled this claim for failure to diagnose and appropriately treat Mr G who suffered a burst appendix. She achieved a settlement for Mr G in the sum of £70,000 plus legal costs.
Before the alleged negligence, our client was fit and well, attended the gym regularly and was employed as a steel erector. His role includes a large degree of manual labour and heavy lifting.
On the 24 February 2013, when Mr G was aged 23, he experienced sudden onset of excruciating abdominal pain, and passing blood and vomiting. He contacted NHS Direct and was advised to attend the out of hours GP at Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby. His Mother and Brother took our client to the hospital where he was seen by an out of hours GP. He was complaining of severe abdominal pain which had begun as pain in the whole of his abdomen but moved round to his right side. He also complained of vomiting and loose stools.
Mr G and his Mother questioned whether it could be appendicitis but were told no. His Mother questioned this because she had had appendicitis previously (aged 16) and her symptoms at that time were exactly the same.
Mr G was examined by the doctor and had to be helped to lie on the bed where he lay flat. The Doctor pressed his abdomen which caused pain. A urine sample was taken which showed that there was blood in his urine. Kidney stones were diagnosed and has was given an injection of Diclofenac. He was advised that the kidney stones needed to be pass at home after which he would be more comfortable.
Mr G was discharged home with a prescription of naproxen and told to wait until the stones passed. However, his symptoms worsened. By 26 February 2013, he was incontinent of faeces and his stools were foul smelling. He was unable to tolerate the naproxen and was continually sick. His sick was now black, his temperature still high and he was unable to take on any fluids. His parents took him to the Accident and Emergency Department at Grimsby Hospital that evening.
He was, at this point, diagnosed with an acute appendicitis and admitted for surgery, an open appendectomy, which took place at 11pm that evening. He was found to have a large amount of pus-stained fluid and the appendix had by this time disintegrated. He was given IV antibiotics and fitted with a tube drain in his abdomen.
On 2 March 2013, his drain was taken out. Mr G stated that this was excruciatingly painful but he was told by the male nurse when he exclaimed about the pain, ‘don’t be a wimp’. He was discharged home on 5 March 2013.
On 7 March, Mr G visited his GP for his clips out. He was told by the Practice Nurse that should he not feel any better he should return to Hospital. NHS Direct signposted him to the GP Out of Hours Clinic at Grimsby Hospital and he explained to a Doctor that he had terrible wind, he was vomiting a lot and this was green, had a high temperature and he was in a lot of pain. He was told he had gastritis and discharged home with omeprazole and an anti-emetic.
Mr G returned home and struggled through the week. He was deteriorating and saw his GP as an emergency appointment on 11 March 2013. His GP arranged for an emergency admission and a bed became available that afternoon. He was informed that there was a hard mass in his right flank and he would need a CT scan, he was also prescribed antibiotics. He was then informed that the Hospital scanner was broken and he would have to wait for a new scanner to be available.
Mr G waited 4 days for a CT scan which was carried out on 15 March 2013. The scan showed a large abscess with faecoliths present in his abdomen. He was immediately taken for a further laparotomy and drainage of the pelvic abscess. Following this procedure, his recovery was slow but uncomplicated. He was eventually discharged on 23 March 2013.