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Seven-Figure Settlement For 14-Year-Old Boy Who Suffered Brain Injury During Appendix Op

Vital Funds Will Support Teenager’s Ongoing Rehabilitation

07.12.2016

A 14-year-old boy who sustained a severe brain injury during an operation to remove his appendix has received a seven-figure settlement from the NHS Trust responsible.

The teenager from Lutterworth, who is not being named, was injured on August 12, 2011 as a result of an anaesthetic error following a successful procedure to remove his appendix at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The boy’s parents instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate concerns about the treatment he received at the hospital.

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust carried out an internal investigation into the incident which revealed that the anaesthetist failed to flush the cannula used during the surgery with saline solution.

The boy was removed from monitoring equipment and sent up to the ward, not fully conscious. Once on the ward, the nurse flushed his cannula; resulting in an overdose of anaesthetic. Consequently the boy suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest in the ward, cutting off oxygen to the brain, and had to be resuscitated. There were delays before the crash team arrived and then they took six minutes to locate the adrenaline on the crash cart.

He was transferred to intensive care and 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, being taken off ventilation for five months before being transferred to the Children’s Trust in Tadworth, Surrey for intensive neuro-rehabilitation in January 2012. He remained there until December 2014.

Liability was admitted by University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and a seven figure interim payment was obtained for the boy, which enabled him to access adequate care and therapies, and, crucially, to purchase an appropriate home with suitable adaptations.

He and his family finally made it back to Lutterworth, into the new home in August 2015, via various institutions.

He continues to suffer significant physical, cognitive and communication difficulties as a result of the injury, needing a wheelchair and hoists to move. He also relies on others to interpret his needs from his expressions and movements and is unable to feed himself independently.

His mother said: “My son’s life – and ours - have 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.”

Expert Opinion
“As a result of this terrible error, this boy, who as a young teenager should be finding his independence, instead needs the support of doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, carers, educational services, a professional deputy and much more.

“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.

“It is encouraging the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust conducted their own investigations and were able to make an early admission of fault. It is our hope that they and other NHS Trusts will continue to learn from the mistakes made and ensure that their practices are improved in the hope that no other family will have to endure what this family has been through.”
Ian Christian, Partner

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.