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Case Study: Bowel Perforation Following Laparoscopy
Sharon, 27 years old, Kent
A woman has received £80,000 compensation after her bowel was perforated during a surgical procedure.
Sharon had many years of trouble becoming pregnant and attended hospital for an investigatory laparoscopy. Endometriosis was noted but the procedure was abandoned due to excessive bleeding. Therefore, it was recommended that Sharon should have hormone treatment followed by a further laparoscopy and ablation of the endometriosis.
During this second operation, it was noted that she had Grade 4 endometriosis – the most severe form with multiple pelvic adhesions. Sharon was advised that the procedure had gone to plan and was discharged home the same day. Two days later Sharon developed a temperature with pain in her abdomen. She was seen at home by her GP and Sharon was re-admitted to hospital.
Discharged from hospital without treatment
Sharon was in hospital for five days and was diagnosed with suspected peritonitis. No abdominal ultra sound scan or x-ray was performed and she was discharged without treatment. She was readmitted a week later and underwent a further laparoscopy when an abscess was found.
Readmitted to hospital 5 times in 13 months
Exactly a month after the ablation surgery Sharon was eventually referred to a Surgeon who raised the possibility of a bowel perforation. She underwent a laparotomy and a fistula was found. She underwent a colostomy which she was advised would be temporary. However, she was re-admitted on 5 occasions during the following 13 months and as the proposed reversal of the colostomy was complicated she therefore decided not to proceed with the operation.
Experts considered that peritonitis from bowel damage should have been strongly suspected (which it was) and appropriate investigations promptly performed including CT scan and gastro-graphin enema. This would have demonstrated the bowel damage and Sharon would have undergone laparotomy very soon after diagnosis and although she would have required some sort of stoma in any event and this would have been easily reversible within about 3 months.
JMW Solicitors successfully obtained £80,000.00 compensation from the hospital trust which Sharon happily accepted.
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