Settlement for complications following of bowel surgery

07 August 2020

Our client, who was the manager of a large manufacturing business, was unfortunately diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 63-years-old. He underwent a successful operation to remove the cancerous part of his bowel. As part of the surgery, he had an ileostomy procedure to divert digestive waste into a colostomy bag through an opening in his stomach, known as a stoma. The purpose of this procedure was to allow the colon to heal following bowel surgery.
Settlement for complications following of bowel surgery

Our client was told his ileostomy was temporary and would be ‘reversed’ in six months’ time.

Accordingly, he returned to hospital and underwent an ileostomy reversal procedure. After the operation and, while still in hospital, he experienced severe pain to the lower part of his stomach and had shortness of breath. An x-ray was taken, which reported an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.

Things took a turn for the worse, when our client suddenly experienced faecal evacuation through his stoma wound on his lower abdomen. He was sent for emergency surgery, following which he was advised that he had suffered septic shock from faecal discharge leaking into his abdomen. During his emergency surgery, our client had another ileostomy procedure, which would need to be reversed in the future.

He was discharged from hospital around one week later, but returned only the next day due to severe vomiting. He was kept in hospital and treated for an infection before being discharged a few days later.

Our was left to manage his stoma, which he found particularly difficult during the night when he would have to wake up on several occasions to empty the colostomy bag.

At a review appointment with a consultant a few months later, our client was surprised to learn that a trainee had carried out his ileostomy reversal operation under supervision, and a cut or tear had been made in his bowel by a surgical instrument.

He was then put on a long NHS waiting list for an ileostomy reversal procedure.

Our client sought legal advice and instructed Sumit Morjaria, a solicitor in the medical negligence team at Shoosmiths, to pursue a claim against the hospital for stan.

Supportive evidence was obtained from an independent medical expert specialising in colorectal surgery, who was concerned about the lack of consultant input and thought that the presence of fluid on the x-ray should have raised concerns earlier.

The defendant admitted XXXX and made an interim (or part) payment of compensation to pay for our client to have an ileostomy reversal procedure on a private basis, without any further delay.

The claim was settled out of court for a significant sum which, in addition to compensation for the pain and suffering caused, included compensation for loss of earnings, the costs of additional care and domestic assistance, and the costs of surgery on a private basis.



This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024

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