Advising with empathy and experience

Compensation for catheter damage.

A CNCI client has been awarded £12,500 compensation after a registrar pierced her catheter with a suture.

Our client suffered with IGA nephropathy, a condition that stems from damaged kidneys. Treatment involves a procedure known as peritoneal dialysis.

A catheter is inserted into the abdomen and a permanent tube transports fluid which is flushed out on a daily basis to protect the kidneys from further damage.

In January 2012 our client was taken into hospital to have her catheter inserted. Whilst in recovery she started to bleed. The registrar on duty closed the wound with a suture to prevent further bleeding. Over the next 2 weeks our client noticed a small leak coming from the catheter and nurses noticed there were a number of air bubbles in the catheter line.

On closer inspection, a small hole was found in the catheter. It was immediately clamped off to prevent further infection and our client went back onto the operating table to have another fitted. Unfortunately, this catheter was put in the wrong place. Our client was forced to have another unnecessary operation to have another fitted in the correct place.

Expert opinion found there were many opportunities to spot the initial damage but these were missed.

The NHSLA, the government body who deals with all NHS negligence claims agreed to pay our client £12,500.00 on the basis that had the catheter line not being pierced in the first place, the subsequent operations wouldn’t have been necessary.

Rachel Griffiths, the senior solicitor responsible for securing the compensation payment, said…

“Every time you go onto the operating table, there are risks involved. We can accept those risks if we know they are necessary for our health. But when you’re subjected to unnecessary operations because of negligence, you increase the chances of suffering complications. That was the basis of this claim, and the basis of the compensation awarded to my client.“