Clinical Negligence

Damages recovered for consequences of delay in diagnosis of treatment for post-operative bowel cancer anastomotic leak

The clinical negligence team demonstrated their expertise when they recently recovered damages for a gentleman who became critically ill following a failure to diagnose a post-operative anastomotic leak. The case settled for an undisclosed award plus legal costs.

Jonathan Herbert acted for Mr R who spent nine days in ICU, nine weeks in hospital, a dehisced wound and an additional period of up to seven weeks convalescence after a delay and diagnosis of a post-operative anastomotic leak.

Mr R was diagnosed with carcinoma transverse and sigmoid colon following as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. He was admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he underwent extended left hemicolectomy. One week after surgery, Mr R developed a grossly distended abdomen and felt nauseous. The following day, a small bowel obstruction was reported on abdominal X-ray. The next day, a CT scan was performed which reported findings consistent with an anastomotic leak. During this period, Mr R’s condition deteriorated. He was referred for emergency surgery which was carried out in In the early hours of the following day.

A colostomy was performed and a left ureteric injury was suffered during such surgery was repaired.

A failure to suspect an anastomotic leak

It was alleged on behalf of Mr R that the doctor unreasonably failed to suspect an anastomotic leak and organise a CT scan because if he had, this would have been confirmed and Mr R would have been taken back to theatre much more quickly.

Mr R suffered a prolonged period of pain and suffering and had underwent bilateral nephrostomies, nephrostomies and catheter extended placing, CT guided drainage of pus/offensive turbid fluid, blood transfusion, CT guided drain – right and left flank collections, Drain (perisplenic collection), bilateral pleural effusions –left and right pleural tap and chest aspiration.

Mr R instructed Jonathan Herbert to pursue a medical negligence claim against the hospital.  Settlement was reached within four months of the delivery of a letter of claim for an undisclosed figure plus legal costs.

Jonathan Herbert specialises in medical negligence cases. If you would like to ask Jonathan a question about a potential case involving a delayed diagnosis or you have a general query about medical negligence contact him on 01892 701226 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.

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