Harry, a 7 year old boy, had a history of sleeping difficulties and underwent an operation to remove his adenoid glands in an attempt to combat this. The operation was performed at Pembury Hospital by a Consultant ENT Surgeon. When Harry came out of theatre, his parents noticed an inflamed red mark on the right side of his face, below his lip. They were informed that Harry had most likely suffered an allergic reaction to the plastic tubing used during the operation, or to the surgical tape used to hold the tube in place. Harry was prescribed antihistamine cream to alleviate the symptoms.
Harry’s parents did not agree with this diagnosis as similar tubing and tape had touched other areas of his skin and he had no further marks. Following a shift change, Harry was examined by a nurse who explained that she thought Harry had sustained a burn to his face. Harry was then prescribed Flamazine cream to treat the wound.
Harry was later told by a different ENT surgeon that his injury looked like a burn which was most likely caused by the diathermy equipment used during the operation. Harry was then referred to a burns specialist at Queen Victoria Hospital.
Harry underwent an operation to remove some of the tissue inside the scar and to try and seal the wound. However, unfortunately this operation was not successful.
Harry has been left with a scar measuring 2.5cm in length and 0.5cm in width on the right side of the chin, near his mouth. The scar is raised and he has uses silicon plasters to try and reduce the redness of the scar.
In addition to the scar, Harry has suffered a psychological injury. He has become withdrawn and has been diagnosed with a moderate depressive disorder. Harry’s classmates have teased him about his scar, further affecting his confidence. His parents are extremely concerned about the psychological impact his injury has had on him.
Jessica Neary, a Solicitor in the Medical Law & Patients’ Rights team in London, helped Harry and his family obtain £18,000 to compensate him for his injury. This will enable Harry to undergo cognitive behavioural therapy to treat his psychological injury and both now and if required when Harry is a teenager.
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