We settled a claim on behalf of a man from Rustington, Littlehampton against Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust for the injuries he sustained during surgery which necessitated further surgery and the removal of a section of his bowel, resulting in long term health problems.
Our client underwent surgery at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester to treat gallstones in November 2010. Bleeding from the sphincterotomy was noted during the procedure which necessitated further surgery on 23 November. Unfortunately, an inappropriate procedure was performed, causing our client to suffer a significant bleed and an ischaemic injury to the small bowel. This required further surgery to stop the bleed, a right hemicolectomy and resection of the terminal ileum.
Had the correct surgery been performed, our medical experts advised that our client would have had an uneventful recovery with no further complications. Instead our client was transferred to the intensive care unit for close observation and required further surgery to resect a further four inches of small bowel, which was found to be ischaemic. Our client subsequently remained in hospital until 21 December 2010 during which period he suffered from complications including swallowing difficulties, sinus tachycardia, right foot drop and increased defecation.
After discharge, our client continued to suffer from urgency and lack of control of defecation, including incontinence, for which he requires lifelong medication. He also suffers from lethargy. Both are considered to be as a result of short gut syndrome caused by the resection of the small bowel. He has also developed an incisional hernia which he has been advised that, due to the previous surgeries, is inoperable.
After carrying out investigations and obtaining expert evidence, a claim was made against St Richard’s in relation to the decision making for and performance of the second surgery. The trust initially denied the case so we issued court proceedings following which the defendant opened negotiations and the case was settled.