Advising with empathy and experience

Award for bowel damage during surgery.

A  man  with severe learning difficulties has been left with permanent injuries after his bowel was incorrectly closed during surgery.

Rachel Griffiths, senior solicitor in the CNCI clinical negligence team was able to secure £35,000 in compensation from Scarborough Hospital in a successful conclusion to a claim brought on his behalf.

Our client, a 31 year old adult with severe learning difficulties suffered with an A22 chromosome abnormality which affected the muscles in his bowel. Because of this, he required a permanent stoma bag. Unfortunately in 2009 he suffered with a prolapsed stoma, meaning part of his bowel was protruding from his abdomen. He attended Scarborough Hospital for corrective surgery.

In the days following the surgery the client’s mother noticed his stomach was very swollen and he had not passed any fluid for some time.  She raised this with doctors who seemed not to be concerned. The swelling got worse very quickly and spread to his arms. At this point doctors became concerned and prepared for emergency surgery.

The emergency surgery was successful however a large part of our client’s bowel had to be removed. This means he now constantly expels loose faeces and his ileostomy bag needs to be changed 10 times a day.

It emerged that the surgeon who performed the emergency procedure had clipped shut the wrong part of the bowel meaning the working end was unable to expel any waste it accumulated. The Claimant is also required to take medication to help manage his condition.

Our client was awarded £35,000 in recognition of the problems he experienced and the fact that it is more difficult to manage his condition.

Speaking of the settlement, Rachel Griffiths said; "This sequence of events has been difficult and challenging for the Claimant and his family. He has suffered pain, discomfort and distress. The compensation reflects the fact that the impact upon the Claimant has been, and will continue to be, significant".