Throughout 2023, our specialist team has settled many medical negligence claims for people who have been harmed due to medical error.
As a specialist law firm focusing solely on medical negligence claims, our experienced legal professionals have a high success rate in reaching compensation settlements for clients harmed by medical error.
The value of medical negligence claims varies depending on the type and extent of the injury. Each case is considered on an individual basis, but here are some examples of the compensation payouts from medical negligence claims in the second half of 2023.
Gynaecological medical negligence claims
Infertility following perforation of the uterus and bowel during hysteroscopy - settled for a six-figure sum
This case was settled by Caroline Moore on behalf of a 35-year-old woman who underwent a laparoscopic (keyhole) procedure to remove a fibroid, to assist with getting pregnant. Unfortunately, the womb and bowel were perforated during the procedure.
After the surgical procedure, there was admitted substandard delay in recognising the injuries that had occurred. The claimant ‘C’ became extremely unwell, needed lifesaving, open abdominal surgery, was left with an open wound, requiring multiple further procedures and a prolonged hospital stay.
She was left with a stoma that was eventually reversed. She was also left with abdominal scarring and eventually underwent plastic surgery to improve the scarring and, also, to mend an incisional hernia (that was caused by what had happened to her).
C suffered PTSD and depression. She was left completely infertile, being unable to carry a child and suffering from adhesions that made retrieval of her own eggs dangerous.
Proceedings had to be issued, and trial was set to take place in March 2024. But the case settled at a meeting in November 2023. The settlement included a sum of money to allow C to pursue surrogacy with donor eggs abroad.
Infertility after misdiagnosis of ovarian cancer – settled for £195,000
This case was settled by Sarah Johnson on behalf of a woman in her early 20s who has been left infertile after being mistakenly told she had a rare form of ovarian cancer. This led to the claimant ‘C’ having her ovary and fallopian tube unnecessarily removed.
After suffering with irregular periods and heavy vaginal bleeding, C had an ultrasound which showed a mass on her left ovary. She was referred to gynae-oncology and had a further scan which found it was a cyst. This was removed, but the histopathology mistakenly reported it as a Sertoli-Leydig Cell Tumour, a rare form of ovarian cancer. C then underwent surgical removal of both the ovary and fallopian tube. However, subsequent histopathology from another hospital showed it was actually a benign sclerosing stromal tumour.
C had planned to start a family in her 30s but is now unable to conceive naturally. She is also more likely to enter the menopause earlier and will require HRT and bone density scans for longer than usual. C’s experience has not only impacted her physically, but also psychologically as she comes to term with her loss of fertility at such a young age.
The defendant trust admitted they should have waited for the pathology review before proceeding to surgery and that, had they waited, C’s ovary wouldn’t have been removed. The case settled in November at a joint settlement meeting.
Surgical medical negligence claims
Bowel injury during evacuation of retained products of conception – settled for £175,000
This case was settled by Miriam Bi on behalf of a 41-year-old woman who suffered a bowel injury after undergoing surgery to remove retained products of conception from the womb.
The injury went unrecognised for a few days which meant that the claimant ‘C’ had to undergo a CT scan, further surgery, bowel resection, a post-operative stay in ICU and a prolonged hospital stay for a few months. Liability was admitted by the NHS.
Ureteric injury during prostate removal – settled for £160,000
This case was also settled by Miriam Bi on behalf of a man in his 70s who suffered a ureteric injury during a robotic assisted prostatectomy. The injury was not identified at the time, and the claimant ‘C’ underwent numerous invasive procedures to repair the injury. C’s claim settled a few months before trial.
Substandard repair of collarbone – settled for £15,000
This case was settled by Kelly Hunt on behalf of a 44-year-old man who experienced inadequate surgery to repair a broken collar bone.
The claimant ‘C’ had surgery to fix a fractured clavicle using an Acumed plate and four screws. However, there weren’t enough screws used, causing fracture instability; it is mandatory to use a minimum of six screws (three on each side of the fracture).
C’s X-rays also showed there was an empty drill hole at the most medial end of the plate, meaning it wasn’t centred over the clavicle, rendering screw insertion impractical. C had to have revision surgery to correct the mistakes, causing an unnecessary eight additional weeks of pain and suffering before his eventual discharge from hospital.
Medication Error Medical Negligence Claims
Stroke in pregnancy due to wrong dose of blood thinners – settled for £120,000
This case was settled by Louise Haslam on behalf of a young woman with a blood disorder who had a stroke in her second trimester after being given the wrong dose of an anticoagulant.
On finding out she was pregnant with her first child, the claimant ‘C’ had to stop taking Warfarin to reduce the risk to her unborn child. She was instead prescribed a low molecular weight heparin. However, unbeknown to C, she was incorrectly given a half dosage of the anticoagulant. At 25 weeks pregnant, she had a stroke caused by the incorrect dose.
Thankfully, C has made a good recovery, due to her own determination, but her injuries did impact on the early months with her newborn child as a first-time mum.
Pulmonary embolism after negligent contraceptive prescription – settled for £50,000
This case was settled by Miriam Bi on behalf of a 30-year-old woman who suffered a pulmonary embolism after being was prescribed the oral contraceptive pill despite a family history of blood clots. The claimant ‘C’ had a prolonged recovery from the bilateral pulmonary embolism and suffered a psychiatric injury.
Incorrect dosage of antibiotic treatment – settled for £1,000
This case was settled by Chanel Watson for a 22-year-old woman who became ill after being wrongly told by a consultant to take a seven-day course of antibiotics in one day.
The claimant ‘C’ was diagnosed with Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) at hospital. C was initially given a course of 14 tablets of the antibiotic Metronidazole and told to take a tablet twice a day for seven days. However, after an interjection from a trainee doctor, the consultant changed their mind and retracted this information. Instead, they advised C that there were two ways of taking Metronidazole, and that C was to take them the second way – all the tablets at the same time.
A few hours after consuming all 14 tablets, C began to vomit. NHS 111 advised C to go to A&E, but she was not seen for six hours, during which time she continued to vomit. Eventually, C was given anti-sickness medication through a cannula and was later given fluids via an intravenous line to rehydrate her body.
The Emergency Department consultant caring for C explained that he had looked into what had happened and informed her that she had been given the wrong box of Metronidazole tablets. Upon changing her mind about what method C should use to take the antibiotics, the consultant should have given her a course of five tablets to take all at the same time rather than the 14 tablets she was originally given.
Delayed Diagnosis medical negligence claims
Death after delayed diagnosis of rib fractures – settled for £16,000
This case was settled by Kelly Hunt on behalf of the estate of an 80-year-old man who died after multiple rib fractures went undiagnosed, leading to Haemo-pneumothorax, where blood and air enter the chest wall.
The deceased ‘D’ fell at his respite care home and was admitted to hospital with a minor head injury. While in hospital, he fell a further three times despite having a Falls Risk Assessment in place. On the third occasion, D’s fall was unwitnessed due to reduced staffing levels on the ward. D reported that he had banged the left side of his head and had pain in his upper left ribs.
A chest X ray showed that D had two displaced rib fractures, surgical emphysema and left-sided pneumothorax, thought to have been caused by the fall at the care home three weeks earlier. He sadly died a couple of weeks later.
At Inquest, a Coroner ruled that the Traumatic Thoracic Injury – left haemo-pneumothorax with multiple rib injuries following fall contributed to his death. A Serious Incident Report by the hospital found that, although D had been assessed as requiring special care continually, this had not been routinely followed.
Delayed treatment of hospital acquired pressure sore – settled for £9,000
This case was settled by Natasha Lindley on behalf of the estate of a terminally ill man who endured a grade 4 pressure sore for ten weeks after failures with his care. The sore still hadn’t healed when he sadly passed away from cancer in October 2021.
The deceased ‘D’ was admitted to hospital with nausea, vomiting and bowel obstruction related to his cancer. On admission, a Pressure Risk Assessment was completed. Pressure areas were checked and were intact. Ten days later, his sacrum (towards the base of the spine) was noted to be red and blanching. Management of this thereafter was poor, despite deterioration of the area, and at no point was there a referral to Tissue Viability.
His cancer symptoms subsided and the condition that he was admitted for improved, so he was discharged to his daughter’s house. A referral was eventually made to Tissue Viability Services by the community services. On examination he had a category 4 pressure sore.
The pressure sore was extremely painful and caused D a lot of distress, discomfort and additional pain and suffering towards the end of his life
Birth injury medical negligence claims
Unnecessary caesarean section – settled for £15,000
This case was settled by Natasha Lindley on behalf of a woman in her early 20s who had an unnecessary caesarean section after failures to check her unborn child was still breech.
Towards the end of her first pregnancy, an ultrasound found that C’s baby was breech and she was advised to have an elective caesarean section at 39 weeks gestation, some three weeks later. This date was brought forward by two weeks after C experienced headaches and visual disturbances with raised blood pressure. C went to hospital as planned for her elective caesarean, but during surgery the baby was found to be in a head down position, not breech as reported 11 days earlier.
The Trust carried out a Serious Incident Key Findings Report which concluded that breech presentation should be confirmed by ultrasound in the week prior to surgery. A scan was not carried out on the day of the surgery, nor the week leading up to it.
C therefore argued that her surgery and subsequent scarring was avoidable. Had she been offered a vaginal birth, she would have opted for one, particularly as this was her first child.
Avoidable ventilation of newborn – settled for £4,000
This case was settled by Louise Haslam regarding a newborn baby who required ventilation after their condition at birth was not noted. The baby’s breathing difficulties worsened, and they needed oxygen for a short period. Thankfully, there were no lasting effects on the child.
Incorrect diagnosis of 3rd degree perineal tear – settled for £3,000
This case was settled by Chanel Watson on behalf of a 31-year-old woman whose 3rd degree perineal tear was wrongly diagnosed as 2nd degree. This subsequently meant that she was given the wrong treatment to repair it.
After the birth of her first child, it was noted that the claimant ‘C’ had suffered a 2nd degree tear. She underwent an end-to-end repair for this by a Locum Obstetric Registrar. Later that day, C had some vaginal bleeding and was examined by a consultant who couldn’t reach C’s cervix so she was taken to theatre. C was given spinal anaesthetic and the original sutures were removed.
C’s records showed that the tear had initially been assessed and misdiagnosed as a 2nd degree tear instead of 3a third-degree tear, and she was therefore sutured incorrectly. Mental anguish upon learning that her repair had been performed inadequately contributed to the development of maternal anxiety surrounding the delivery of her next child.
Medical Solicitors: Your clinical negligence specialists
As you can see, the Medical Solicitors team have had a busy year in 2023.
We strive to help as many people as possible get the answers they are looking for. The team is made of up experienced legal professionals who all have different specialisms.
We truly care about giving the best legal advice and the highest standards of client care which is backed up by our 5 star reviews and testimonials from clients. It doesn't cost anything to make an initial enquiry and we offer No Win No Fee agreements if we think your case has a strong chance of success.
Please Note: At Medical Solicitors, we specialise in handling medical negligence claims involving healthcare providers in England and Wales and will be happy to extend a helping hand if your case is located in either of these regions. Unfortunately, we do not handle medical negligence cases outside of England and Wales.