Clinical Negligence

Young woman has facial scarring after wisdom tooth extraction

Our client, Miss V, was shocked after she came round from her anaesthetic during a routine wisdom tooth extraction, to find the maxillofacial surgeon had burnt her lip causing a disfigurement at the corner of her mouth.

Miss V was 23 years old when she attended her local hospital to undergo a wisdom tooth extraction under general anaesthetic.  She had two teeth removed from both sides of her lower jaw and one on the left hand side (three in total).

When she came round from the anaesthetic she became concerned when a nurse exclaimed “What has he done to her lip?”  She was given a mirror and was shocked to find she had a disfigurement at the corner of her mouth.  This was later confirmed to be a burn.  She immediately burst into tears in disbelief at how disfigured her reflection looked.

The operating doctor explained that he had slipped when taking the tooth out of her bottom jaw as the tooth had been difficult to extract.  In the process he had burnt her lip.  Miss V did not believe the injury was from a sudden and brief burn as it was more consistent with a prolonged burn.

She was sent home with antibiotics for two of her teeth which had become infected and was given hydrocortisone cream for her lip.

After the incident, Miss V’s lip would dry out, weep, scab and then crack.  It was very uncomfortable to eat, touch, cough, sneeze, kiss, or to brush her teeth because of the pain this would cause in her lip.

Miss V was left with a scar which required surgical repair.  The scar remained visible at conversational distances and this affected Miss V’s social life as she felt very self-conscious of her appearance.  She worried that the scar resembled a Herpes virus blister.

Jonathan Herbert sent a letter of claim to the defendants on behalf of Miss V.  The defendants admitted negligence and after obtaining medical reports was able to negotiate an out-of-court settlement of £11,000.

Jonathan specialises in facial scarring cases.  If you would like to ask Jonathan a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any clinical negligence, contact Jonathan at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701226 in confidence.

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