Case Study: Failed Sterilisation and Necrotising Fasciitis Infection

This case study outlines how JMW obtained £40,000 compensation for a woman who was diagnosed with renal failure after negligence during a simple sterilisation procedure led to serious infection.

If you are looking for information on how JMW can help you to make a claim yourself you can go directly to our failed sterilisation claims page here.

As 29-year-old Nancy already had 5 children she decided to be sterilised as other methods of contraception had not suited her.

She was scheduled to have laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery but as there were problems with this the surgeon performed the procedure via a small incision just above the pubis.

Complications following surgery

 The operation appeared to be straightforward but a few days later, when back at home, Nancy began to feel very unwell, and when she noticed a purplish patch of skin appearing over the operation site she called an ambulance and was taken to hospital.

Necrotising fasciitis and acute renal failure

It was soon realised that she had necrotising fasciitis, (a very severe kind of wound infection) and she was taken to theatre on two occasions for debridement of the wound, which involved cutting away the dead tissue and leaving the wound open to heal.

It was also noted that Nancy was not passing urine and it soon became evident that she was in acute renal failure brought on by the severe wound infection and general toxicity.

Further complications and a second round of surgery

After a few days she began to improve but it was then noticed that large amounts of straw coloured fluid were leaking from the wound and it was realised that a fistula (a connection) had developed between the abdominal wall and the bladder. Nephrostomy tubes were inserted into the kidneys to drain the urine directly into external bags thereby bypassing the bladder, and although they drained well the fistula did not heal. Eventually, Nancy had to return to theatre for surgical closure of the fistula and removal of the nephrostomy tubes.

She also needed skin grafting to the wound on her abdomen and this has left her with a large unsightly scar. She also has chronic urgency and is reluctant to stray far from home in case she cannot find a toilet when she needs one.

Our case and the settlement

It was alleged that the fistula could not have been due to the necrotising fasciitis alone and there must have also been some injury to the bladder at the time of the sterilisation (probably a stitch).

Although any negligence was denied by the hospital trust they offered to settle the case for £40,000.

Despite everything Nancy had been through in an attempt to have no more children she became pregnant again and, after a difficult pregnancy, gave birth to a healthy baby girl – her 6th child.*

  • One in 200 sterilisations fails for reasons that are not fully understood.

Have you also suffered an infection after surgery?

If you are dealing with the same kind of issues as Nancy following surgery we can help you to hold those who are responsible to account. Find out more about our compensation claims procedure on 0800 054 6512, or read another case study here

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