We recovered £95,000 for Louise, who lost the hearing in her left ear because of ENT negligence at Whipps Cross Hospital.
Louise, who is now 27, suffers from a hereditary middle ear condition called otosclerosis in both her ears. Otosclerosis is a disease of the bone surrounding the inner ear.
It can cause hearing loss when abnormal bone forms around the stapes (a bone in the middle ear), reducing the sound that reaches the inner ear. This is called conductive hearing loss.
In late 2005, Louise’s hearing began to deteriorate. She consulted her GP, who referred her to the ear, nose and throat (ENT) department at Whipps Cross Hospital.
At the hospital, Louise was told that she could wear a hearing aid to improve her hearing or undergo stapedectomy surgery, which would help improve her hearing. Stapedectomy surgery involves the removal of part of the stapes from the ear and the insertion of a tiny piston into the ear which will aid future hearing.
The Surgeon told Louise that the surgery was extremely low risk. In view of this, and as Louise was only 22 at the time, and therefore did not want to have to wear a hearing aid, she decided to undergo the surgery.
In December 2006, Louise attended Whipps Cross Hospital to undergo the stapedectomy. The operation was supposed to last 45 minutes but it took more than three hours.
The surgeon told Louise that she would be suffering from tinnitus (ringing in her ears) for a short period of time but otherwise that the operation had gone well.
Louise was sent home two days later and returned to the hospital the following week to have her bandages removed. She underwent a hearing test and it was clear that she could not hear anything in her left ear.
The surgeon said that this could happen and it may take some time before her hearing returned.
Louise’s hearing did not improve over the following months and in October 2007 the surgeon said that she would never regain hearing in her left ear.
This has affected Louise psychologically, along with affecting her everyday life and ability to carry out everyday tasks.
Mark Bowman pursued a claim against Whipps Cross Hospital on Louise’s behalf. Having obtained expert advice from an ENT Expert, allegations were raised concerning the way in which Louise was consented for surgery, the performance of surgery itself and the post operative care that Louise received.
A letter of claim was served on Whipps Cross Hospital, who admitted liability with regards the performance of the surgery. Following negotiations with Solicitors for the hospital, the claim settled in the sum of £95,000.
After the case, Louise said: