Woman Receives Compensation for Injuries Caused by a Surgical Mask

A woman whose jaw was dislocated during an operation is to receive a six-figure settlement of compensation for injuries caused by a surgical mask.

In December 2010, Amanda Walker (48) from Knaresborough in North Yorkshire received the devastating news that she had miscarried twins. She was booked into Harrogate District Hospital to undergo a routine procedure to remove the foetuses but, when she woke up from the operation, Amanda was unable to open her mouth and experience severe pain down the right side of her face.

The hospital claimed that the pain was attributable to a condition she had developed ten year´s previously but, on a later visit to her dentist, it was found that Amanda´s jaw was misaligned and that there was significant damage to the soft tissues surrounding it. Amanda underwent an MRI scan, where it was revealed that her jaw had been dislocated as if she had been in a car accident.

Amanda had to undergo four corrective operations including one to insert a prosthetic jaw. The hospital maintained that the injuries were attributable to a historic condition but Amanda was not convinced and sought legal advice. Her solicitor´s investigation uncovered that the injuries had been caused by the force with which a surgical mask had been applied during the operation at Harrogate District Hospital.

Amanda – who has been unable to return to her job in PR and advertising since the incident – made a claim for compensation for injuries caused by a surgical mask. The claim was contested until recently, when the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust admitted it liability for Amanda´s injuries and agreed to a six-figure settlement of her claim.

Dr David Scullion – Medical Director for the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust – said: “The Trust is pleased an agreement has been reached. We have apologised to Ms Walker for the impact this injury has had on her. We conducted an investigation into Ms Walker’s care with us in 2010 and want to give assurance that we have learned all we can from this incident.”