Fibre tip of laser gun left in patient's leg during varicose vein surgery at Highgate Hospital | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Fibre tip of laser gun left in patient's leg during varicose vein surgery at Highgate Hospital

Jonathan Zimmern has successfully concluded a case on behalf of PA, who was left with the 1cm fibre tip of electronic laser equipment in his leg following varicose vein surgery at the private Highgate Hospital in north London, run by Aspen Healthcare.

Having originally been told by his doctor that the surgery in March 2015 to treat unpleasant varicose veins had gone well, Mr A subsequently suffered ongoing pain in his left leg. Despite telling the surgeon that something was not right at five outpatient appointments over the next few months, no further investigation was carried out and the surgeon's notes state that the wound was healing nicely. Mr A's GP prescribed antibiotics to treat what was now an infected wound.

Finally, in May, a CT scan revealed that a foreign body had been left in Mr A's leg during the surgery and he underwent further surgery to remove it.  Unfortunately, the wound became re-infected and Mr A developed cellutis, requiring a further stay in the hospital to administer intravenous antibiotics.  He was finally discharged in June 2015, three months after the first surgery.

An investigation conducted by the hospital conceded that both the surgeon and the nursing staff had not sufficiently checked the laser equipment before and after the surgery and therefore had acted negligently and caused Mr A to need further surgery and further hospital admission to treat the infected wound.  Hospital guidelines require 'examination of each sharp must be made before and after use' to prevent such mistakes.  Leaving a foreign body inside a patient following surgery is listed as a 'Never Event' in medical guidelines.  

PA instructed Jonathan Zimmern to investigate his claim.  He instructed a Vascular Surgeon who was critical of the treatment provided. Jonathan took steps to quantify PA's claim and, following negotiations with the Hospital, an out-of-court settlement of £20,000 was agreed.

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For further information about surgery negligence claims and clinical negligence claims, please call Jonathan Zimmern on 03304606779 or email


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