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Crohn's Disease Misdiagnosis Claims
If you have suffered due to a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of Crohn's disease, you may be entitled to claim compensation. At JMW, we are highly experienced in helping people with misdiagnosis claims.
Get in touch today and we can talk to you about your Crohn's disease misdiagnosis claim. Simply call us on 0800 054 6512 or complete our online enquiry form and we will give you a call back at a convenient time.
Crohn's disease is a condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system. It most commonly occurs in either the colon or the ileum, which is the last section of the small intestine, although it can affect anywhere along the digestive tract. It is a long-term condition that can have various unwelcome symptoms, including:
- Abdominal pain
- Unintended weight loss
If a medical professional fails to identify the disease and this leads to your further suffering, you may be entitled to compensation. This financial help can prove invaluable.
There is no known cause of Crohn's disease, yet certain factors that are believed to contribute to it. These factors can include:
- Problems with your immune system
- Genes inherited from your parents
- An abnormal response to a previous infection
- Smoking (can make symptoms more severe)
- Where you live (it is more common in westernised countries, such as the UK, than in poorer parts of the world, such as Africa)
There is no known cure for Crohn's disease at present, but treatment is administered in an effort to relieve symptoms. It can also help to prevent the inflammatory process and can, where possible, prevent a sufferer from having to undergo surgery.
Treatment can take various forms and can include:
- Steroid medication (these are called corticosteroids)
- Immunosuppressants to suppress the immune system
- Inflammation-reducing medication
- Removal of the inflamed section of the intestine through surgery
A medical professional should be able to spot the symptoms and correctly diagnose Crohn's disease, and should be able to recommend and administer the correct treatment. If this has not happened and it has led to your further suffering, you may be in a position to make a claim for compensation.
Case Study: Fatality Following Negligent Crohn's Surgery - £90,000
A widower has received £90,000 compensation after the tragic death of his wife following negligent care by medical professionals during Crohns surgery.
The illness and surgery
Carol had a history of Crohn's disease and in the past had undergone a right colectomy. By the time she was 56 years old, it was noted that there was a recurrent Crohn's mass in the right iliac fossa and it was decided to proceed to surgery to resection the bowel.
Carol underwent excision of recurrent Crohn's mass with anastomosis between the ileum and descending colon at her local hospital. Minor adhesions were noted from the previous operation. No difficulties were described.
Ten days after the original surgery, Carol underwent a CT scan which indicated a massive abdominal collection. The next day she Carol underwent a laparotomy. The operation note recorded the presence of faecal peritonitis, which was secondary to a perforation of the terminal ileum 20cm proximal to the anastomosis. It was noted that the perforation was at the site of a Vicryl suture. The operator presumed that during the previous surgery, a hole had been made at the site that had been closed with the Vicryl suture.
Post operatively Carol had a difficult recovery. She was discharged back to the intensive care unit at her local hospital two weeks after the laparotomy. A month later, Carol was found to be unresponsive and unconscious. She was resuscitated. Two months later Carol again required resuscitation and was transferred to the HDU. In the weeks following this she suffered two respiratory arrests and a cardiac arrest. She had CPR, was intubated and ventilated.
Almost five months after the original surgery, Carol was discharged from the ITU back to the ward, and eventually she was discharged from hospital after a period of 347 days.
A CT scan revealed two areas of damage to Carol's brain, thought likely to be due to infarction. Three years after the surgery, she was admitted to hospital with increasing shortness of breath and collapsed. She had a sudden decline and was unresponsive. The cause of death was given as bronchopneumonia.
JMW claimed that the surgery performed for the excision of the recurrent Crohn's disease mass was performed negligently. In particular, the bowel was perforated at a site some 20cm from the anastomosis. It was also alleged that the subsequent misplacement of a nasogastric tube led to Carol suffering a respiratory and cardiac arrest, thus causing brain damage.
Although the hospital denied liability, the claim was settled and Carol’s husband received £90,000 compensation.
Case Study: Misdiagnosis of Crohn's Disease - £18,000
Mark, 22 years old, Rochdale
A man who suffered because of misdiagnosis of Crohn's Disease has been awarded £18,000 compensation thanks to the help of JMW.
Mark, a plasterer, attended his GP complaining of stomach pains after food, which had been increasingly worse over the preceding two months with weight loss. He was referred to hospital as a matter of urgency. Mark underwent a gastroscopy and a differential diagnosis of celieac or Crohn's Disease was made. A week later he experienced sudden severe epigastric pain with vomiting and was re-admitted to hospital.
Missed Crohn's Disease
Two weeks later, Mark underwent a barium meal and follow through examination, which was interpreted as showing normal appearances. Mark's consultant subsequently wrote to his GP noting that barium follow through and duodenal biopsy showed no change specific for Crohn's Disease. He noted that the final diagnosis was uncertain, but one could not completely exclude a diagnosis of Crohn's Disease.
In the following months, Mark continued to attend the GP with gastrointestinal symptoms. After six months due to ongoing ill health the Gastroenterologist arranged for Mark to have a white cell scan. The isotope scan yielded an abnormal result suggestive of Crohn's Disease. Mark was started on medication called Pentasa.
Getting a second opinion
As his symptoms continued, Mark asked for a second opinion. Mark was referred to a Locum Gastroenterologist who saw him just over 12 months after his initial referral to hospital. Mark was started on Prednisolone. The Locum Consultant indicated it would be best to treat him for presumed small intestinal Crohn's Disease. In addition, the Locum Consultant reviewed the barium meal study noting an abnormality in the terminal ileum consistent with Crohn's Disease, which was previously unreported.
Mark continued on Prednisolone and subsequently Azathioprine and his condition improved to the extent that he was able to return to work.
How we helped
JMW Solicitors alleged that the barium meal was incorrectly interpreted. Had the barium meal investigation been corrected, this would have led to a more effective treatment, such as oral steroids or even surgery.
The hospital admitted that the treatment was negligent and the claim was settled. Mark received £18,000 compensation for his pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
If you have suffered due to a Crohn's misdiagnosis, JMW can provide the legal assistance you need in order to help you make a successful claim to help compensate you for your needless suffering and to enable you to better move forward with your life. We are vastly experienced in misdiagnosis claims and have the skill and professionalism to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Our clinical negligence team is renowned around the UK for its ability to secure favourable outcomes for clients and we are notable for having members of the Law Society's specialist panel for clinical negligence and the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors' panel.