Case Study: Swab left in Abdomen


Cheryl, Oxfordshire

A woman has successfully won £7,500 compensation after a swab was left in her abdomen following an operation.

Cheryl suffered from diverticulitis and when this became so severe that it was adversely affecting her quality of life the decision was made to remove the affected bowel and leave her with a colostomy.

The operation went according to plan and apart from some nausea, Cheryl seemed initially to be recovering well. However, the nausea continued and after about a week Cheryl started to complain of abdominal pain and generally feeling unwell.

A CT scan of the abdomen was performed and a foreign body was noted. An exploratory operation was performed using the original incision and five gauze swabs from the first operation were discovered. These had become infected so the abdominal cavity was washed out and IV antibiotics commenced.

Cheryl took some time to recover from her ordeal and spent a short time in ICU where she received a blood transfusion. She was eventually discharged 18 days after the initial operation after which she required daily visits from the district nurses to dress her wound, which had become infected. It was many weeks before Cheryl felt completely well again.

Not surprisingly the case was not defended and compensation of £7,500 was secured for Cheryl by Katie Nolan, one of JMW’s expert solicitors.

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