Surgical Errors & Negligence Claims
Admission to hospital for surgery of any description is always a concern for the patient. Despite that, the reality is that the outcome of the vast majority of procedures are as expected. Even if something did not go entirely to plan, that should not come as a total surprise to the patient.
That is because prior to undergoing any type of procedure, all patients are supposed to provide informed consent. In other words, the benefits of the surgery are identified and discussed with the patient beforehand and any risks brought to their attention. By this means the patient is empowered to make the final decision on whether to proceed or not.
If such ‘informed consent’ is not obtained then any subsequent treatment would in law constitute an assault.
“It’s difficult to believe it’s all over David. Just knowing that we’re now financially secure is probably the best therapy I’ve had so far. I can’t even begin to imagine what mess I’d be in if I hadn’t found you. Thank you from the whole family.” JF, December 2017
However, by giving ‘informed consent’, a patient is not simply agreeing to accept any outcome to the procedure. Sometimes, when surgery does not go to plan, it is down to entirely avoidable mistakes. In such cases, a patient may have a claim in negligence.
Common avoidable mistakes we see include:
Mistakes arising out of gynaecological, cosmetic and general surgery procedures are among those that we see most regularly, particularly procedures carried out laparoscopically (keyhole surgery). In fact, it is thought that around one in ten of all medical negligence claims received by the NHS result from general surgery.
Also, ‘never events’ such as where surgical swabs and other objects are retained inside a patient are becoming an increasing problem for the NHS.
David Gazzard has over 25 years’ experience as a specialist medical negligence solicitor. In that time, he has successfully represented many people who have suffered as a result of surgical negligence.
David successfully represented a lady who had suffered physically and psychologically following damage to her common hepatic duct during keyhole surgery to remove her gallbladder. This resulted in a leak of bile which developed into a bile duct stricture. A number of subsequent procedures to insert stents into the damaged ducts were unsuccessful in controlling the strictures and, ultimately, she required a very major operation (a Roux-Y procedure) to rectify the original problem.
In a particularly tragic case, David acted for the family of a gentleman where weight loss surgery resulted in lacerations to a number of his organs including his gall bladder and bowel, which in turn led to leakage, peritonitis and ultimately his death.
“David Gazzard supported my family and I through a very difficult time. David is not only a first rate solicitor but if my own experience was anything to go by, he has huge empathy for his clients. I would strongly recommend him.” AJ, January 2017
Should you wish to discuss any of these issues, our Head of Medical Negligence, David Gazzard, will be delighted to speak with you informally and in complete confidence. You may call him on 01793 615011 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org