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Case Study: Nasal Surgery Results in Meningitis
This case study outlines how JMW helped a man to claim £10,000 compensation after a surgeon did not carry out proper surgical technique when performing the surgery resulting in meningitis and other distressing complications.
If you are looking for information on how JMW can help you, go directly to our meningitis negligence claims page here, and if you are looking for medical information on meningitis please visit the NHS website here.
Alan had endured problems with a blocked nose for some time, so his GP referred him to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) consultant (Mr M) who, following a CT scan, diagnosed nasal polyps and sinusitis.
Mr M told Alan that he needed to have the polyps removed and his sinuses cleared out using a standard procedure called FESS (functional endoscopic sinus surgery).
Mr M performed the FESS operation and all seemed to go according to plan, but before Alan could be discharged the following day, he began to shiver and complain of a throbbing headache, with a raised temperature. It was also noted that fluid was discharging from both nostrils when he was sick.
IV antibiotics were commenced as it was thought that the outer covering of the brain (the dura) had been pierced during the FESS (a recognised complication), although at this stage he was not thought to have meningitis. Sometime later Alan became disorientated and photophobic (very sensitive to light) and was unable to answer questions.
Four days later Alan was transferred to a specialist unit at another hospital where a large hole in the roof of the sinus above his nose was repaired. Although accidental perforation of the sinus and the dura is a known risk of this kind of surgery, this particular defect was considered to be excessive by the surgeon performing the repair.
Alan was in hospital for about a month, and for much of this time he experienced distressing and frightening hallucinations. His general health deteriorated and he felt weak and depressed by the time he was discharged.
It was alleged that Mr M had been negligent in:
1. Failing to use a proper surgical technique when performing the surgery thereby creating an excessively large defect in the sinus.
2. Not recognising that the sinus had been damaged and therefore failing to repair it.
If it was not for this negligence, Alan would not have developed meningitis with all its distressing symptoms, would have been in hospital only overnight, would not have required a second operation and would not have gone on to develop an anxiety and depressive disorder that persisted for a year.
Accepted offer of compensation
The trust initially denied liability claiming that a puncture of the dura is a known risk of FESS and that Alan had been informed of this pre-operatively, but following negotiations they made an offer of £10,000, which Alan accepted.