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Case Study

£225,000 damages for negligent injection of haemorrhoids causing prostatitis at Southend University Hospital

Helen Thompson recovered £225,000 damages for a 48-year-old man who suffered serious complications following a procedure to treat anal haemorrhoids (piles).

Mr C had a history of haemorrhoids and had previously undergone successful treatment.

In June 2011, Mr C was injected with the chemical Phenol during day surgery at Southend University Hospital to treat internal haemorrhoids.

During the procedure, he experienced significant pain and discomfort and immediately afterwards, had a strong urge to pass urine and was discharging clear fluid smelling of peanuts (Phenol has such an odour) from his penis.

Mr C continued to suffer ongoing low-level discomfort, peri-anal pain, a sensation of bladder fullness and urinary urgency. These symptoms would flare up roughly every couple of months, with each episode lasting several weeks. The pain and symptoms affected Mr C's ability to work, pursue leisure activities and undertake domestic chores. He also suffered pain on ejaculation which badly affected his relationship with his wife. Mr C has required ongoing pain management to treat his physical pain and symptoms.

Mr C was diagnosed as suffering with chemical prostatitis due to the Phenol chemical having been negligently injected into his prostate gland. The physical symptoms also caused psychiatric illness and Mr C was also diagnosed with an adjustment disorder with anxiety, depression, low mood, irritability, lack of energy and sleep disturbance.

Mr C instructed Fieldfisher to investigate the care he had received. Experts in Colorectal Surgery and Urology were instructed to comment on the case and were highly critical of the care provided. They concluded that Mr C's symptoms and the chemical prostatitis were so severe that they could only have resulted from a negligent injection of Phenol directly into the prostate gland.

However, the expert for the Trust responsible for Southend University Hospital alleged that Mr C's symptoms could result even when the injection was directly into the haemorrhoids and that the chemical could be carried to the prostate by the veins in that region of the anatomy. The Claimant's experts argued that, anatomically, this was virtually impossible.

Despite this, the Trust refused to make an admission of liability and defended the case in full until a few months before trial, finally agreeing settlement of £225,000, an offer that had been made 8 months previously in June 2016.

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