38-Year-Old Woman Died Following Complications After Surgery At Pinderfields Hospital

Medical Negligence Lawyers At Irwin Mitchell Secure Settlement For Family


Specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have secured a settlement for the family of a 38-year-old woman with Crohn’s disease who died just two weeks after undergoing a bowel operation because of delays in treating complications post-surgery.

Tracy Hall, from Castleford, in West Yorkshire, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 1996 and on 28th April 2009 she had elective surgery for reversal of a stoma at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, which lasted nine hours.

Following the surgery, Tracy’s condition deteriorated as she suffered post-operative complications including internal bleeding and contracted an infection. Her wound reopened a number of times and had to be washed out to prevent any infection.

On 4th May 2009, Tracy was still very unwell and doctors noticed a lot of blood in her stoma bag and her stomach was protruding. She was taken back to surgery where it was discovered that an artery had been cut and her abdominal wall had burst. Tracy was taken to the High Dependency Unit where she was sedated.

Over the next few days her condition continued to worsen; she was put on a life support machine and she had high blood pressure and a fever. The 38-year-old died on 12th May 2009 from multi-organ failure caused by sepsis.

Tracy’s family instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care she received at Pinderfields Hospital run by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The NHS Trust admitted that mistakes were made in her care. They said that she had active Crohn’s disease at the time of the reversal surgery, meaning that the operation should have been delayed until she was more medically stable. If this been done, she would have survived. They also admitted that there was a delay in treating her post-operative complications.

The parties reached agreement in relation to a six-figure settlement which will provide future financial protection for her husband and her two children. Tracy’s mother said she hoped lessons would be learned to prevent similar tragic incidents in the future.

Expert Opinion
“Tracy’s family have been left completely devastated by her sudden death and are still coming to terms with what has happened.

“Her surgery should have been delayed as she was not stable enough to have an operation. The NHS Trust has admitted if the surgery had been delayed, she would have survived.

“We hope that lessons can be learned by staff at the hospital to ensure critical mistakes like this when treating people with Crohn’s disease do not happen again to any other families.

“The fair settlement will go towards ensuring that her family, especially her husband and her two children, have financial support and protection in the future.”
Rebecca Pearey, Solicitor

Her mum Carol said: “We have been completely heartbroken since losing Tracy – it was incredibly difficult for the whole family to see her suffer like she did and deteriorate so quickly in front of our eyes.

“To think that if the doctors had waited longer before doing any operation on Tracy she could be still with us is devastating – she had been struggling for about a month before the surgery with abdominal pain and had lost nearly three stone in weight and we were surprised that they went ahead with it at the time.

“We never imagined that just two weeks after surgery she would no longer be with us. I just hope that this doesn’t happen to any other families and that the NHS Trust learns from its mistakes.”

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of surgical negligence, we may be able to help you claim compensation. See our Medical Negligence Guide for more information.