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Case Study

Client questions donor guidelines following faulty kidney transplant

Paul McNeil successfully pursued a claim for Mrs Richardson, which settled in February 2018 for a six-figure sum. Janice Richardson, suffered the trauma of two failed kidney transplants following hospital errors. Her consultants at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds transplanted a cadaver kidney from a man who smoked 20 cigarettes a day and died from a heart attack without discussing the risks with her. At that time she already had an offer of a live donor kidney transplant but she was advised to give this up.

Following the first transplant from her sister in October 2013, she alleged that the loss of the kidney was due to the failure of the transplant team to identify and treat an infection. It was eventually removed less than a year later, leaving Mrs Richardson urgently needing to receive another transplant. She went back on dialysis three times a week.

Mrs Richardson has had trouble with her kidneys since she was 14, likely following an infection as a 3-year-old which prevented her right kidney from growing.

After falling critically ill with septicaemia that shut down her organs and put her into a coma, Mrs Richardson received her first kidney in November 2011, donated by her sister. The initial signs were that the kidney was working well, blood tests incorrectly filed under her maiden name meant that dangerously high creatinine levels were missed by the hospital and she contracted BK virus, which destroyed the kidney and it was removed.

It was her case that if the blood test results had been reviewed appropriately she would have undergone further investigations which would have resulted in a diagnosis of BK virus and immediate treatment which would have saved the kidney.

The Leeds Hospital Trust that runs St James’s admitted it had breached duty in Janice’s care over the mistakes that jeopardised her first kidney but denied it had not informed her of the status of the second kidney.

Paul McNeil successfully pursued a claim for Mrs Richardson, which settled in February 2018 for a six-figure sum. He argued on Janice’s behalf that the Trust failed to obtain informed consent from her for the transplant and that the kidney was of a poor quality which did not function.

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For further information about surgery negligence claims and clinical negligence claims, please call Paul McNeil on 020 7861 4019 or email paul.mcneil@fieldfisher.com.

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