UK Wrong Site Surgery

Although there is no justifiable defence against compensation claims for wrong site surgery in the UK, it may still be difficult to ascertain where the errors were made that resulted in a procedure being conducted incorrectly. There are many possible causes for wrong site surgery, and the exact reason for the error has to be established before claiming compensation is possible.

Claims for wrong site surgery compensation may also be difficult to resolve quickly, for in addition to the pain that was experienced unnecessarily during the initial operation, the patient is likely to require further surgical procedures to rectify the initial error (if possible) and then successfully complete the intended surgery.

Multiple operations can lead to complications, a longer recovery period and life-long disabilities, in addition to the emotional trauma of repeated hospital visits. The full consequences of wrong site surgery due to medical negligence may not be known for an extended period of time; however, it is important that you speak with a medical negligence solicitor at the first practical opportunity.

A medical negligence solicitor can engage the services of an independent expert to confirm where the original error was made, accelerate future procedures where possible and arrange for interim payments of wrong site surgery compensation until such time as the full consequences of the medical error have manifested.

Claim for a Vasectomy on the Wrong Patient Likely after Errors Admitted

A claim for a vasectomy on the wrong patient is likely to be made against the Broadgreen Hospital in Liverpool following the admission of procedural errors.

In February 2014, the man – identified only as Patient A – was due to undergo surgery to have scar tissue removed, when he was brought into the operating theatre out of sequence and underwent a vasectomy procedure instead.

The error occurred initially due to changes being made to the operating theatre running order. The nurse responsible for the changes – Rosemary Tollitt – failed to advise colleagues of the changes or check Patient A´s identity as he was being taken into theatre.

However, the doctor in charge of the surgery – Dr Nanikram Vaswani – has admitted misconduct charges for failing to confirm the patient´s identity, not reviewing the patient´s medical notes and not following surgical checklists before commencing surgery.

Dr Vaswani has also admitted failing to inform the hospital authorities immediately after realising his error, and failing to keep notes of his conversation with Patient A after the operation – a conversation that led to an unsuccessful vasectomy reversal operation being attempted later in the day.

In addition to the procedural errors likely to be included in a claim for a vasectomy on the wrong patient, it is also the opinion of the General Medical Council that Patient A would not have been in an appropriate emotional state to give his informed consent for the vasectomy reversal procedure.

It is understood that Patient A has sought legal advice about making a claim for a vasectomy on the wrong patient against the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust. A spokesman from the General Medical Council said that the man had been “physically and emotionally traumatised” by the experience.

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Man Settles Medical Negligence Claim for Wrong Site Back Surgery

A former police officer has settled his claim for wrong site back surgery after the Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust admitted that a mistake had been made.

In 2011, Michael Dunn (51) from Droylsden in Greater Manchester was advised to undergo back surgery to repair two discs that were causing him to experience pain from his neck, along his right arm and down into his right hand.

The traffic support officer for the Greater Manchester Police attended the Salford Royal Hospital and underwent the surgery but, soon after waking up from the operation, he became aware that he had lost all feeling in his right arm.

Despite raising his concerns with a consultant, Michael was discharged from hospital after being told that the lack of feeling was a temporary reaction to the surgery. However, Michael never regained the full use of his arm and decided to take legal advice.

Michael´s solicitor instigated an investigation at the hospital, due to which it was discovered that surgeons had operated on the wrong discs in Michael´s spine and also damaged a nerve root. Consequently, Michael will never regain the full use of his arm.

Unable to return to work, Michael made a medical negligence claim for wrong site back surgery against the Salford Royal Hospital´s NHS Trust. Liability was admitted and a settlement of his claim was negotiated amounting to £259,000.

Speaking after the settlement of his medical negligence claim for wrong site back surgery was announced, Michael said: “I wish I had never had the surgery. I was led to believe it was a straightforward operation, so I wasn´t expecting any complications.”

Dr Peter Turkington – the Medical Director at the Salford Royal Hospital – commented: “Once again, we would like to offer our sincere apologies to Mr Dunn for the standard he received at Salford Royal. When an incident occurs, it is always Salford Royal´s practise to apologise, thoroughly investigate it and ensure that we openly share the findings of this investigation with the patient concerned.”

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Compensation for Operation on Wrong Side of Heart

A man, who was woken during surgery to tell him that his heart operation had gone wrong, has received a six-figure sum in compensation after making a medical negligence claim.

Steve Edwards (51) from Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset, was having a minor heart procedure at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in 2008 when the error occurred. During the surgery, an item of equipment slipped, causing a radio pulse to be applied to the wrong side of his heart.

The error meant that Mr Edwards would require a pacemaker to be fitted, and the heavily anaesthetised was brought around to advise him of the treatment he required. Mr Edwards claimed in his action against the Bristol Royal Infirmary that he did not appreciate the severity of the issue at the time, and it was only in an outpatient´s appointment ten weeks later that the full extent of the error became known.

Despite three subsequent attempts at corrective surgery, Mr Edwards will now have to wear the pacemaker for the rest of his life – meaning that he will have to undergo surgery once every seven years to replace the battery. The Bristol Royal Infirmary admitted negligence and agreed a six-figure sum in compensation with Mr Edwards´ legal representatives in an out-of-court settlement.

In a statement, the Bristol Royal Infirmary stated “Technical errors during Mr Edwards’ cardiac ablation procedure resulted in the catheter moving and radio frequency energy being delivered to the wrong side of his heart. Further checks have been introduced to ensure that the catheter is perfectly placed before radio frequency energy is delivered.”

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