Settlement for serious anaesthetic error during hysterectomy at Northwick Park Hospital | Fieldfisher
Skip to main content
Case Study

Settlement for serious anaesthetic error during hysterectomy at Northwick Park Hospital

Christina Gardiner was instructed to represent Tracey* in a claim concerning an anaesthetic error that occurred during a hysterectomy at Northwick Park Hospital.

During surgery, Tracey sustained avoidable damage to her common carotid artery during insertion of a central venous catheter. The guidewire accidentally came out, Tracey's neck began to swell and she started to turn blue. Manual pressure was applied and a team of doctors was called.

The procedure was abandoned and Tracey was transferred for a CT scan on mechanical ventilation. Her common carotid artery was stented and she was transferred to the intensive care unit in an induced coma. Doctors told Tracey's family that they were unsure what her condition would be upon waking and that she could be left with permanent brain damage or other long-term consequences. Her family prepared for the worst.

When Tracey awoke from her coma, she was told it was too soon to know whether there would be any long-term implications. Following discharge from Hospital, Tracey continued to suffer with chest pain, breathlessness, light-headedness and nausea. She developed a pleural effusion that required further surgery and she continued to demonstrate reduced lung function. She struggled to sleep and developed post-traumatic stress disorder in light of her very distressing experience.

A severe/major harm incident was reported by the Trust and an investigation was initiated.

Tracey instructed Christina to investigate a claim against the Trust. Following investigations and a letter of claim, the Trust admitted liability and accepted that the injury was caused by operative error. The Trust  admitted a failure to identify that the CVC needle had mistakenly been cannulated into the carotid artery so that the blood vessel continued to be dilated. The Trust apologised for the errors.

Christina negotiated a six-figure settlement.

Following settlement, Tracey said:

'I can’t thank Christina enough for what she has done for me. It has been a long and hard journey. Christina has been so patient with me and has always been there to reassure me. I am relieved to finally be able to try to put the events behind me and to get the treatment I need. 

'I would like to thank Christina for all her hard work and dedication. It has meant so much to me and my family'.
*name changed

For further information about surgery negligence claims and medical negligence claims, please call Christina Gardiner on 0330 460 6746 or email


All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win no fee. Find out more about no win no fee claims.