Woman Calls For Changes After Errors Left Her Fighting For Her Life

Expert Medical Lawyers Secure Admission Of Liability From Secretary of State for Health For ‘Atrocious Oversight’ In Care

21.07.2014

A woman left fighting for her life with extensive scarring, has spoken of her ‘horrific’ ordeal for the first time.

Michele Price, from Long Eaton in Nottingham, was admitted to the Nottingham Treatment Centre for keyhole surgery to investigate and treat the cause of her pelvic pain on 9 August 2011.

Michele was discharged on the day of surgery but was readmitted the following day complaining of severe abdominal pain. The 48-year-old went into multi-organ failure and suffered horrendous complications.

Medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell instructed by Michele say the mother-of-two is ‘lucky to be alive’ after their investigations found a catalogue of errors by staff at the hospital. The firm has now secured an admission of liability from The Secretary of State for Health and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust:
  • Causing the perforation to Michele’s bowel; 
  • Failing to appreciate that a perforation to her bowel was the likely cause of her symptoms and perform an immediate CT scan on her readmission (as recommended in the RCOG guidelines and Rapid Response Report NPSA/2010/RRR016 Laparoscopic surgery failure to recognise post-operative deterioration. September 2010) to seek confirmation;
  • Allowing Michele to be treated by junior doctors following the keyhole procedure (in contravention of the RCOG guidelines and Rapid Response Report NPSA/2010/RRR016 Laparoscopic surgery failure to recognise post-operative deterioration. September 2010)
  • Causing further complications which included peritonitis, multi-organ failure, abscesses, scarring and an incisional hernia.
Expert Opinion
Michele suffered a truly horrendous ordeal in hospital following what should have been a simple and routine procedure with minimal recovery time.

“Instead she was left fighting for her life and needing further operations that have left her with extensive scarring – a permanent reminder of the horrific ordeal she has been through.

“The impact of her ordeal and the injuries has had a devastating impact on all areas of her life and will continue to do so in the future.

“We are pleased to have secured an admission of liability for Michele which means we can now work with the Trust to agree a settlement.”
Sarah Rowland, Partner

Michele was discharged the same day as her surgery on 9 August 2011 but was rushed back to hospital in the early hours of the next morning as she was doubled over in pain. It was not for another two days that a CT scan was performed which raised the possibility of a perforation in the bowel.

On 12 August Michele was sent for further exploratory surgery. The surgeons’ findings confirmed peritonitis, leaking bowel content and two holes were found in her bowel.

Michele had a section of her bowel removed and surgeons flushed out as much as the infection as they could, but her stomach was left open for two days in an attempt by the surgeon to avoid Michele having a stoma bag.  Michele returned to the operating theatre on 14 August to re-attach her bowel and have her stomach sewn up, yet remained in an induced coma for five days to help her fight the infection which was causing her organs to shut down. She was discharged from hospital on 31 August 2011.

Michele then developed a hernia which has now been repaired. However, after the hernia repair operation Michele suffered complications which prolonged her recovery. 

Michele said: “My life has been turned upside down following my horrific ordeal at Nottingham Treatment Centre, Queen’s Medical Centre Campus. I feel truly let down by staff as I suffered so many needless complications and my life has been devastated as a result. It was meant to be a routine procedure I went into hospital for, but instead I was left fighting for my life.

“The scarring on my stomach is horrendous and I am incredibly self-conscious of it. My original surgery was keyhole surgery which is designed to be minimally invasive and leave little, to no, scarring. 

“I am pleased that with the help of my legal team at Irwin Mitchell that the Trust has finally made an admission of liability for what happened to me. I just hope that this paves the way to the conclusion of the legal proceedings so that I can try to start to put my life back together.”