Advising with empathy and experience

Compensation for surgical burns.

Helen Caulfield has recently secured compensation for a client who was left with permanent scarring after being burnt while on the operating table. The claimant visited a consultant gynaecologist complaining of abdominal pain and back ache. She also had pain during intercourse. A scan suggested uterine fibroids and after discussions with her gynaecologist the claimant agreed to have a myomectomy.

After the surgery she awoke and was horrified to find her lower abdomen had several deep burns. The possibility of burns was never mentioned by the gynaecologist and it is not a risk that is commonly associated with a myomectomy. Despite the depth of the burns and the pain they were causing the claimant was told they were only superficial and she was discharged from hospital. She received no advice on how to care for her wounds.

The burns took 2 months to heal, however they have left permanent scars which have damaged our client’s confidence and caused her considerable pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, the cause of the burns remains a mystery. During the claim the hospital gave no explanation as to what caused the burns and no explanation could be found in the medical records.

Helen Caulfield of the CNCI team stated “I’m glad I was able to help my client recover compensation. However it is incredibly frustrating that no one from the NHS is able to explain what caused the burns. If you are injured while in surgery it is absolutely unacceptable that no explanation is given afterwards. My only hope is that what happened in this case does not happen to someone else.”