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Case Study

Avoidable anal sphincter injury at BMI Runnymede Hospital settles for woman left with permanent colostomy bag

Gabriella Gooday achieved a six-figure settlement on behalf of a woman who suffered an avoidable anal sphincter injury following the incorrect administration of an enema, which resulted in a likely permanent colostomy bag.

In March, the Claimant attended BMI Runnymede Hospital to undergo a routine flexible sigmoidoscopy (examination of the bowel lining) as part of colorectal investigations. In advance of the procedure, a nurse inserted the enema into the Claimant's bottom and, on administration, tore the Claimant's anal sphincter. Despite the Claimant's reports of bleeding and significant pain and discomfort following the enema, the sigmoidoscopy went ahead and she was discharged home the same day.

Post-discharge, the Claimant continued to suffer severe pain and discomfort around her bottom as well as faecal incontinence. She contacted BMI Runnymede Hospital seeking advice.

Eight days' post-injury, the Claimant presented to St Peter's Hospital reporting severe pain in her bottom. An MRI scan was arranged and she was prescribed antibiotics, pain relief and laxatives.

The subsequent MRI scan identified an anal sphincter defect and a perirectal abscess, which required drainage. The Claimant was advised that she would require a temporary colostomy to allow the injury to heal.

In April, the Claimant underwent surgery for a colostomy and she was discharged home eight days' later.
Post-discharge, the Claimant had a turbulent recovery. She was further admitted to hospital due to perianal abscesses, infection, mucus leakage, pain and discomfort and suffered unpleasant symptoms in-between admissions.

The Claimant was unable to work for around six months, her everyday life was severely impaired and she was unable to enjoy hobbies and looking after her grandchildren during this period.

Sadly, it is likely the colostomy bag will be permanent.

Once instructed, Gabriella obtained supportive expert evidence in the field of Colorectal Surgery and wrote to BMI Healthcare shortly after. BMI Healthcare accepted that the incorrect insertion and administration of the enema was a breach of duty and following negotiations, Gabriella was able to secure a six-figure settlement.

Following settlement, the Claimant said:

"I shall be forever indebted to Gabriella and her team in seeking financial redress for the avoidable injury that I sustained. Gabriella kept me updated throughout and her professionalism, expertise and empathy helped to reduce my anxiety whilst navigating towards my new life of living with a hidden disability."

For further information about hospital negligence claims, please call Gabriella Gooday on 0330 460 6758 or email gabriella.gooday@fieldfisher.com.

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