Appendectomy calamity left our client in agony
Appendectomy, removal of the appendix, is one of the most common operations carried out in the UK. The procedure, often performed with keyhole surgery (laparoscopy), has an excellent success rate however our client was not so fortunate.
Attending hospital with complaints of stomach pain and tummy troubles, a straightforward diagnosis of a urinary tract infection (UTI) was received. Appendicitis was also suggested as a possibility. The usual antibiotic for UTIs was prescribed, and overnight observation was provided to monitor our client’s condition. The next day she underwent an abdominal ultrasound which picked up a swelling, further suggesting appendicitis.
Upon performing a laparoscopy the following day, the surgeon noted that the appendix appeared healthy. As is usually the case, the appendix was removed as a precautionary measure. This is because the danger of a burst appendix is much higher than any risks involved with removal. As it later transpired, our client did not receive preventative (prophylactic) antibiotics usually provided during surgery to stave off infection.
Following the operation our client developed a fever and was continuing to suffer with abdominal pain. An initial diagnosis of a viral illness was given and blood tests were requested. Two days later the diagnosis was swollen lymph glands in the abdomen and our client was discharged. Still in pain and feeling extremely poorly, she attended a clinic only to be dismissed.
After almost a week of further pain and suffering, our client was eventually readmitted to hospital and diagnosed with a serious infection in her pelvis. On balance, prophylactic antibiotics would have prevented this and the hospital should have identified and acted upon the infection much sooner. In compensation for this negligence we obtained a 5-figure settlement on behalf of our client.
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