Woman Suffers Severe Spinal Injury During Hysterectomy

Woman Suffers Severe Spinal Injury During Hysterectomy

Our medical negligence solicitors represented a client who suffered a serious neurological injury whilst undergoing a hysterectomy.

On 6 September 2011 our client – Jennifer – underwent a hysterectomy. She was told that this would be performed under general anaesthetic. There was no mention of any spinal anaesthetic during her pre-operative appointments.

Jennifer was taken to theatre, where staff gave her a general anaesthetic. Whilst asleep a spinal anaesthetic was administered without our client’s consent.  Her doctor mistakenly injected the spinal anaesthetic into the spinal cord, causing major nerve damage.

Neurological damage

The following day Jennifer attempted to stand up and realised that she had no power or strength in her right leg. She was unable to bear any weight on it. An MRI scan was performed, confirming that she had suffered neurological damage at T7 of her spine. She was told that the injury was permanent and the damage irreversible.

With hard work and rehabilitation our client’s condition improved, and she can now walk short distances without the aid of a walking stick. She continues to suffer from numbness in her side from the waist down. She also suffers from a burning sensation on her right side.

Permanent disabling pain

Irwin Mitchell’s Richard Kayser investigated the case. We brought a claim against the private anaesthetist who administered the aesthetic. Jennifer suffered a severe neurological injury as a direct result of the anaesthetist actions. Unfortunately, she has been left with permanent disabling pain. Richard was able to negotiate with the anaesthetist’s insurers and reach an out of court settlement of £275,000.

Commenting on the case, Richard said: “Unfortunately I am dealing with an increasing number of cases where a clinician has performed a procedure on a patient without their consent.”

Lack of consent

“I hope lessons have been learnt from this case. Our independent expert evidence advised us that this anaesthetic should never have been administered whilst the patient was asleep. Had she been awake she would have been able to alert the anaesthetist to the fact that the needle had entered her spinal canal.

“Jennifer’s injuries were life-changing and this compensation will help her pay for her future treatment as well as help with the financial burden that her and family have been placed under. Unfortunately as a result of the injuries she is unable to continue working full time and is likely to have to change careers.”

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