This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Clinical Negligence team who recently acted for a patient who had one of her kidneys removed unnecessarily.
James Cahan secured compensation for the patient of £100,000.00 in an out of court settlement agreement.
This is a very unfortunate case involving a patient who attended hospital with non specific pain in her abdomen and side which quickly snowballed into her being advised to have her kidney removed despite only minimal testing taking place.
We instructed an independent radiologist and also an independent consultant urologist as well as a consultant nephrologist, all of whom concluded that there had been a catalogue of errors in the way that this patient had been dealt with which led to the end result of a completely healthy kidney being removed. Our independent experts agreed that had the hospital carried out the correct pre operative investigations they would have realised that a radical nephrectomy (kidney removal) was not required.
The patient in this case presented to hospital with pain in her lower abdomen and side. Ultrasound scans were carried out and it was noted by the radiologist that if she had lesions in both of her kidneys. Two of these lesions in one of her kidneys raised suspicion and her treating clinicians felt that there was a risk that these lesions may be cancerous. Without any further imaging being taken and without any biopsies being arranged, a total radical nephrectomy was arranged one month later.
In the month leading up to surgery the patient's initial symptoms had abated but it seems that no consideration was given to her current condition and at no point were any other options other than radical nephrectomy discussed with the patient. Having complete faith in the medical profession, the patient did not even consider that she had any other option. She had been given the impression she had a very serious cancer which needed to be removed straightaway.
Shortly after the nephrectomy a biopsy was carried out on the kidney lesions in which confirmed that they were not cancerous and they were simply benign tumours.
The nephrectomy itself was supposed to be carried out laparoscopically (using keyhole surgery) but unfortunately due to complications during the surgery this had to be converted to open surgery which meant the patient had to have a very large incision measuring approximately 12" around her side and lower back. Following the surgery the patient was left with a significant scar. The patient was obviously extremely distressed about losing her kidney unnecessarily but was initially just pleased that cancer had been ruled out.
The patient continues to suffer with neurological pain on a daily basis from her 12" scar and this impacts on her ability to carry out normal day to day tasks. The claimant took an extremely pragmatic view in this case and accepted the sum of £100,000 in compensation.
As is very often the case in clinical negligence matters we find it is not actually the level of compensation that our clients are necessarily most interested in and it is in fact the detailed process of investigation that is stimulated by the act of starting litigation that is the motivation behind the case itself. The patient in this case was very pleased that the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust conceded that they may have been at fault in this case by agreeing to settle this case without a hearing.
James Cahan specialises in medical negligence cases involving surgery and misdiagnosis. If you would like to ask James a question about a potential case involving surgery or misdiagnosis or you have a general query about medical negligence contact James on 01892 701289 in confidence.
We have one of the largest and most experienced specialist medical negligence teams in Southern England including London. Our team of highly experienced lawyers has the depth and range of expertise essential in this sensitive and often complex area of law. Our clinical negligence team is very proud to be ranked Number 1 in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners UK.