Julia had fibroids which were causing her significant pain and preventing her becoming pregnant. She was investigated by a consultant gynaecologist who decided to remove the fibroids hysteroscopically (i.e. by avoiding opening the abdomen).
On 18 October 2001 she was admitted for the surgery. Towards the end of the procedure, when much of the fibroid had been removed, the surgeon perforated the uterine wall causing a 2-3cm hole.
In addition, the rescetoscope damaged the blood vessel supplying the rectum and Julia lost six litres of blood. Moreover, a laparotomy was needed to stop the bleeding and she needed a colostomy.
As a result of the procedure Julia suffered chronic pain and difficulties in returning to work as a travel consultant. She is also infertile.
We claimed that the perforation of the uterus, the vascular and bowel injuries were caused by negligence.
It was alleged that the fibroids were too large to be removed without open surgery. Moreover, when the surgeon had removed 80% of the fibroid he should have stopped the operation because the risk of uterine rupture was too high.
Julia had to undergo numerous procedures as a result of the damage (including reversal of the colostomy) and she was effectively infertile.
Paul McNeil issued proceedings on Julia's behalf. The hospital strenuously denied liability.
We obtained strong expert evidence in support of the case and the matter was fixed for trial for February 2006.
Eventually, after exchange of expert evidence, the defendants admitted liability and apologised for the mistake of the treating gynaecologist.
The case was settled for £300,000 plus costs. The case was conducted on a “no win no fee” basis.
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