Our clinical negligence team has settled a claim for a man who suffered a perforated bladder and bowel after an error was made during surgery to insert a suprapubic catheter. A suprapubic catheter is a flexible tube inserted through the abdomen that remains in place to collect urine.
Our client, who was 70 years old at the time of his surgery, had suffered from a number of urinary problems for some years. As a result, he underwent the surgical procedure to insert a suprapubic catheter at Basingstoke Hospital in 2019. Unfortunately, during the procedure, the surgeon misplaced the catheter, and it perforated the back of our client’s bladder and bowel.
As a result of this error, he had to undergo a further surgical procedure to assess the position of the tip of the catheter and the extent of the damage caused by its misplacement. He required an extended stay in hospital, suffered from scarring on his abdomen and had an extended recovery period once he returned home.
Investigations were carried out as part of the clinical negligence claim, led by our specialist team, and expert evidence was obtained from a urological surgeon. It was alleged that our client’s surgeon failed to exercise adequate care and skill in the insertion of the suprapubic catheter. His error caused our client to need further surgery, to experience additional pain, suffering and scarring, and to have a prolonged recovery period. The defendant admitted these failings and the consequences for our client, and apologised for the error in his care. Through negotiations a sensible settlement was agreed.
Fortunately, surgical errors are rare, but they do have a significant effect on the lives of patients when they happen. We are pleased that our client received an apology and hope that this will reduce the chances of similar errors being made in the future.