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  • Overview

    Fiona Mills, specialist clinical negligence lawyer based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) Offices, has secured over £80,000 for the family of a woman who died following a failure by Bedford Hospital to recognise her symptoms of intestinal obstruction and peritonitis following surgery for a bowel strangulation.

    The claimant was a 44 year old woman who was admitted to Bedford Hospital with right sided abdominal pain. A laparotomy revealed a strangulation of the small bowel and an internal hernia beside her duodenum. She underwent a resection of her bowel as a number of segments had become gangrenous.

    Over the next three days the claimant underwent a further two laparotomies to remove further sections of gangrenous bowel. She was then diagnosed with a small bowel fistula (an abnormal connection between her small bowel and her gut) which required constant drainage by an external drain.

    7 weeks after her admission the claimant was allowed to return home for day visits, returning to hospital for management of her drains each day. Two days after her discharge she was noted to have an increased output from her fistula drains. Two days later she suffered from sudden and severe abdominal pain and started to vomit.

    Her symptoms continued to worsen and her fistula drainage output stopped completely. Her blood pressure dropped and her heart rate increased. Despite her symptoms the only treatment the claimant received at that time was painkillers and anti-emetic drugs for her sickness.

    Four days after her initial symptoms the claimant was finally taken to theatre with abdominal distension. It was discovered that she had two perforations to her jejunum (middle of her small bowel) and an obstruction of her bowel. She underwent surgery, however she later went into multi-system organ failure due to gross sepsis and sadly died three days later.

    Our clinical negligence team were able to obtain a settlement for the claimant’s husband and three children, after proving negligence on the part of the Bedford Hospital in their failure to recognise and act on the claimant’s symptoms. This was proven through the use of specialist medical expert reports obtained by Fiona Mills regarding the claimant’s care. The settlement totalled £80,000.

    Fiona Mills specialises in gastro-intestinal and colorectal negligence cases. If you would like to ask  a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any clinical negligence, contact Fiona on 01892 701286 in confidence.

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