Clinical Negligence

Wrong surgery performed as a result of administration error

Our client, Mrs L was due to undergo an ulnar nerve release operation on her elbow. Due to an administration error, the surgeon incorrectly performed a tennis elbow release surgery instead. Mrs L then waited 6 months to undergo the correct surgery and had an additional 6-12 month recovery time.

Mrs L initially underwent treatment for right carpel tunnel compression syndrome.  Following this treatment she required an operation to release the ulnar nerve (at her elbow) as this was causing ongoing numbness.

The surgery took place at Chase Farm Hospital as a day case.  The following week Mrs L underwent physiotherapy.  She continued to be in a lot of pain and her symptoms remained at the same level as they had been prior to her surgery.  The physiotherapists examined Mrs L’s arm and told her it was nothing to worry about, everything was normal and they would see her in a few weeks.

The following day Mrs L received a call from her consultant’s secretary who told her she needed to come in for a follow up as soon as possible.  At the follow up appointment the consultant advised that his colleague had undertaken the surgery for him, but that he did not perform an ulnar release as planned, but rather he had incorrectly performed a tennis elbow release.

Following an investigation it transpired that when the surgeon had booked Mrs L in for her surgery on the electronic system he had looked for ulnar nerve release on a drop down list of surgeries under the category “Shoulder/Arm” and could not find it.  He instead put her down as a “tennis elbow release” and added a note to say she was actually for an ulnar nerve release.  Prior to the surgery there was a change of theatre lists and somehow the notes attached to Mrs L’s surgery were not printed onto the new theatre list.

Mrs L had to wait a further 6 months before undergoing the ulnar nerve release.  During this time she suffered with tingling in the fingers which often became very bad and made driving difficult because her arm ached.

Mrs L eventually had her surgery and her symptoms markedly improved.  She continues to have some numbness in the area and some tingling but has been told it will take 6 – 12 months to recover.

Ms F needed to take additional time off work for both surgeries.

Jennifer Waight, specialist clinical negligence lawyer acting for the claimant successfully obtained an out-of-court settlement of £6,500 to compensate the claimant for her pain and suffering.

Jennifer Waight specialises in wrongful surgery cases.  If you would like to ask Jennifer Waight a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any personal injury, contact her at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701374 in confidence.

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