Arti Shah has successfully concluded a case against a private Consultant for failing to obtain consent and performing an unnecessary embolization procedure, resulting in coil migration and the Claimant requiring unnecessary open heart surgery.
The Claimant was referred by her GP for treatment of a varicose vein in her right leg. A duplex scan was performed and she was referred to the Defendant Consultant.
The Claimant was booked for an embolisation procedure where metal coils were inserted to prevent blood flow. She was consented for "venography/embolization of ovarian/pelvic symptoms". The intended benefits were erroneously listed "to treat symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome". The procedure was performed and she was discharged the next day.
Post operatively, she was sore and developed new pain in her pelvis and bladder. She contacted her GP, and over the next few days and weeks, also sought advice from various medical professionals, including those who had treated her.
A few days later, the Claimant attended for a CT scan. This identified migration of the coils to the right atrium of her heart which required surgical removal.
Unfortunately, fluoroscopic retrieval was unsuccessful as an echocardiogram identified the embolization coil to be tangled with tricuspid apparatus within the heart. As a result, the Claimant had to undergo open heart surgery 10 days later to remove the embolised coil from her right atrium and ventricle. During the course of the procedure, it was identified that part of the coil wire components of the device had perforated the wall of the heart, and affected the heart muscles and tricuspid valve. The Claimant had a protracted hospital stay, developed psychiatric injuries and is at risk of heart problems in the future. She requires regular cardiac follow up.
Court proceedings were issued in September 2016. In his Defence, served in 2017, the Consultant admitted that he did not consent the Claimant for the risk of coil migration and a number of other risks. He accepted that the Claimant suffered migration of the embolization coils to her heart. It was the Claimant's case that had she been advised of these risks, she would not have gone ahead with treatment and would have avoided the consequential surgeries and ongoing cardiac issues. The Defendant made a low offer of settlement which was not accepted.
Liability evidence was exchanged in March 2018. The Claimant made an offer to settle the claim which was accepted in May 2018 at two and a half times the offer made by the Defendant, and without the need for proceedings to continue to trial which had been listed for November 2018.
At the end of the case, Arti's client stated:
"From the start Fieldfisher displayed kindness and respect as I shared my story, and I knew I had made the right choice from our first meeting. The brilliant Paul McNeil chose Arti Shah to represent me. Arti has been extremely professional, and her attention to fine details was just outstanding; I knew she was giving 110% to my case at all times. Her communication remained consistent throughout my case and the times I struggled to understand, Arti always called me to ensure I was confident when moving to the next steps. All of Arti’s wonderful attributes clearly won my case; her dedication and time included often working on the weekend. Her calmness when times were stressful showed her emotional intelligence is just as natural as her passion as an exceptional lawyer. It was a pleasure and joy to have Arti represent me and succeed to give me my life back."
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