Brain injury claim: toxic packing material left in patient's skull at Spire Manchester Hospital | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Brain injury claim: toxic packing material left in patient's skull at Spire Manchester Hospital

Lindsay Holt successfully secured an admission of liability from Spire Healthcare in a case involving toxic packing material post-surgery being pushed into the claimant’s brain. Judgment has been entered for damages to be assessed.

Her client, XR, a protected party, had a history of recurrent glue ear and grommets in childhood. As an adult, he was referred to the defendant for mastoid (a bone behind the ear) surgery to investigate his recurrent ear discharge and was advised that the operation would likely resolve his longstanding problems. Treatment was provided under the NHS waiting list initiative by Mr El-Kholy at Spire Manchester Hospital.

Following the operation, XR suffered pain, nausea and vomiting, but these symptoms were not acted upon or investigated.

Eventually, following a scan and referral to a specialist brain injury unit, it was discovered that toxic packing material from the mastoid surgery had been pushed through the skull base floor/tegmen and into XR’s temporal lobe.

The packing material had caused extensive inflammation and irritation of the temporal lobe and XR subsequently suffered a cerebral brain abscess with serious complications.

XR now suffers from epilepsy and total bilateral conductive hearing loss. His neuropsychological presentation is complex and since the event he has suffered chronic pain and has extensively self-harmed.

XR is currently in residential rehabilitation, funded by the defendant, and will attempt to transition into a community setting over the next two years.

Since he has always been a voluntary patient, managing acute deterioration continues to be a challenge and the case is unusual because of the XR’s presentation and the effect of his brain injury on his capacity. Anna Bond of Fieldfisher's Court of Protection team has been appointed as Deputy.

The defendant admitted liability after proceedings were issued and their lawyers have worked with us to support XR's ongoing rehabilitation.

Contact us

For further information about surgery negligence claims and clinical negligence claims, please call Lindsay Holt on 03304606789 or email


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