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14-Year-Old Boy Who Suffered Brain Injury During Appendix Op Receives Seven Figure Compensation

Our medical negligence lawyers have secured a seven-figure settlement for a teenager who was left with a catastrophic brain injury after mistakes were made during a routine operation to remove his appendix.

The 14-year-old from Lutterworth was admitted to Leicester Royal Infirmary on 12th August 2011 to have his appendix removed. Although he operation itself was successful, but afterwards the anaesthetist failed to flush his cannula (the tube used to administer anaesthetics) with saline solution. Because of this the teen suffered an overdose of anaesthetic when he was set back to the ward to recover from the surgery.

The overdose sent him into cardio-respiratory arrest: oxygen was cut off from his brain and he had to be resuscitated. But the hospital’s response was delayed and it took the ‘crash team’ six minutes to locate the adrenaline required to stabilise his condition.

These failings – first the anaesthetist’s oversight and then the delay in locating the adrenaline – would have devastating effects on the teenager’s life.

He was transferred to intensive care, given artificial breathing support and ventilation, and put into an induced coma for several days. He remained in intensive care and then the High Dependency Unit, before being transferred to the Children’s Trust in Tadworth, Surrey for intensive neuro-rehabilitation in January 2012. He remained there for almost three years.

The brain injury caused by the anaesthetic has left him with severe physical, cognitive and communication difficulties. He needs a wheelchair and hoists to move around and is unable to feed himself independently. His speech has been badly affected and he relies on others to interpret his needs from his expressions and movements.

The boy’s parents instructed expert medical negligence solicitors at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the treatment that he received at the hospital. University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust also carried out an internal investigation into the incident which revealed the failures. The trust admitted liability and settled out of court for a seven-figure interim payment.

The compensation has helped the boy access the care and support he needs to help him cope with the effects of his injury. It has also enabled his family? to buy an appropriate home with suitable adaptations for his needs.

His mother said: “My son’s life – and ours - has been turned upside down, impacting heavily on him and on us as a family. While nothing can change that, it was important to bring a civil case against the hospital to not only help us access funds which will support his specific needs for the rest of his life, but to highlight the error so lessons can be learned and others can be protected from the same mistakes.”

Ian Christian, a Partner in Irwin Mitchell’s medical negligent team, said: “The last five years have been incredibly difficult for the family who have cared for their son with limited support. We hope that this settlement will enable them to now look forward and make plans for the future and hope that our young client will now be able to access the services that he needs to live a full and happy life.”

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a surgical error, our medical negligence solicitors could help you to claim compensation. Visits our Surgery Compensation Claims page for more information.

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