We pursued a surgical negligence claim and secured £95,000 for Alex who suffered incontinence following an examination under anaesthetic.
In 1992, Alex developed rectal bleeding and pain in the anal area. He attended the Homerton Hospital where an anal fissure (tear to his anus) was diagnosed. Conservative treatment worked well for a year until he suffered an acute exacerbation of his symptoms. He was then referred to the Royal London Hospital for surgery.
On 24 June 1993, Alex underwent an examination under anaesthetic (EUA) and a lateral sphincterotomy. Following the procedure, he continued to suffer pain and had some leakage of faeces.
As his symptoms continued unchanged, Alex was readmitted for a second EUA on 2 August 1993. During the EUA an anal stretch was performed. By September 1993, Alex was complaining of faecal incontinence as a result of the anal stretch, which was performed without his consent.
We were instructed on a "no win, no fee" basis and Rodney Nelson-Jones issued proceedings on 28 June 1996, shortly after instructions were received, to protect the position on limitation. You only have 3 years to claim based on the statute of limitations and we wanted to ensure that Alex's claim did not become statute barred because he had run out of time.
We alleged that the hospital failed to refer Alex to a specialist colo-rectal surgeon, the failure to obtain consent for the anal stretch and the performance of the anal stretch only 37 days after the lateral sphincterotomy.
The defendant admitted breach of duty in respect of the performance of the anal stretch, but denied that the anal incontinence had been caused by this breach of duty. Following negotiations an offer of £95,000 was accepted.
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