Surgical Errors

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Surgical Errors Compensation

If you have suffered as a result of the negligence of medical staff during your surgery you may be able to claim compensation.

If you undergo an operation, you don’t consider for a second that surgical equipment may be left inside you. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you would think. This surgical equipment may include swabs, unplanned screws, or even larger equipment like forceps.

Leaving these surgical items inside a patient’s body can cause a whole range of problems and symptoms. Infections and pain are a common consequence. You may also require further surgery to remove the unwanted object. This often leads to a longer stay in hospital than originally planned.

What Surgical Errors Can Occur?

As well as surgical items being left inside a patient’s body, other errors can include:

  • The surgeon not performing the correct operation.
  • The surgeon making a mistake during the operation.
  • Diathermy or surgical burns being inflicted on the patient.

Mistakes that are made during surgery may result in further operations or treatment that would not have otherwise been required.

Diathermy Procedures – Surgical Burns:

During some types of operations, a diathermy procedure may be used by the surgeon. This involves using an electrical current to generate heat. It is frequently used to cut tissue, remove warts or skin tags, and can be used to seal blood vessels.

If used incorrectly during surgery, the patient may suffer a diathermy burn. These surgical burns can lead to infection, pain, and permanent scarring. In very serious cases, skin grafts and plastic surgery may be required.

Diathermy burns may amount to clinical negligence if the surgeon has used the diathermy tool negligently, or if the machine itself was faulty. If you have suffered a diathermy or surgical burn, please contact us to discuss whether you may have a claim for clinical negligence.

If you have suffered from burns, illness, or required further surgery as a result of surgical negligence following an operation, then you may have a claim for clinical negligence. Our team of specialist solicitors will be able to assist you with a claim.

Surgical Errors Claims – Case Studies:

We help lots of clients every year just like you claim the compensation they deserve. Below are five case studies. They demonstrate how we have helped clients claim compensation for negligence that has occurred during surgical procedures. Please be aware that the compensation amounts depend on the client’s individual situation and experiences. To see how much your claim could be worth please contact us directly.

Case Study 1: £9,000 in Compensation

  • Our client underwent an operation to remove varicose veins from her left leg. During this operation, the surgeon injured the common femoral vein. This injury was repaired but took considerable time and so our client was not able to have the varicose veins removed, owing to the amount of time that she was under general anaesthetic.
  • After the operation, our client was admitted to the high dependency unit for 3 days and had to stay in hospital longer than she had anticipated. Our client also had to receive daily injections of anti-coagulation to reduce the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis. The injections were painful and the areas injected became very bruised and sore.
  • Our client was disappointed with the scar after the operation as this was twice as long as she expected it to be. She also needs to undergo further surgery to treat the varicose veins which cause her daily discomfort.
  • Our client was successful in her claim for compensation.
  • She recovered £9,000 in compensation.

Case Study 2: £50,000 in Compensation

  • Our client underwent a total right knee replacement. During this operation, the surgical cutting block was placed the wrong way round. As a result, a cut was made in the wrong place. This caused a femur fracture.
  • Therefore, our client had to undergo further surgery under general anaesthetic to stabilise the knee.
  • Our client later suffered from Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and a stroke. She has had a poor outcome for her right leg which is very painful.
  • The main allegations were that; Firstly, the defendant incorrectly placed the cutting block during the right knee replacement surgery. Secondly, they failed to adequately stabilise the incorrect cut made. Finally, they failed to manage our client appropriately post-operatively, as they advised her to mobilise in a standard fashion.
  • We argued that had the cutting block been placed correctly, our client would have successfully undergone right knee replacement without any damage to her femur. As a result, she would have made a good recovery with minimal, if any, ongoing right knee pain and no complications.
  • As a result of the breaches of duty of care identified above, our client suffered significant damage to her femur and experienced avoidable pain and suffering. Furthermore, our client suffered an avoidable fracture, the need for corrective surgery under general anaesthetic, deep vein thrombosis, a stroke, ongoing right knee pain and psychiatric injury.
  • Our client was successful in her claim for compensation.
  • She received £50,000 in compensation.

Case Study 3: £50,000 in Compensation

  • Our client brought a clinical negligence claim against a hospital regarding the standard of care they received from an orthopaedic surgeon.
  • Our client suffered from arthritis and underwent a left shoulder hemiarthroplasty (a shoulder replacement operation). The operation was abandoned midway after she had been anaesthetised and the shoulder joint had been opened. This was because not all the equipment required to perform the procedure was present.
  • A few days later, our client underwent the second stage of the surgery under general anaesthetic. During the surgery, she sustained a fracture to her arm which was fixed with K-wires.
  • The fracture was not adequately stabilised and so our client had to undergo a third operation under general anaesthetic to stabilise the fracture. During this operation, our client suffered nerve damage.
  • As a result of undergoing so many operations, our client suffered from recurrent infections in her upper left arm. She subsequently had four operations under general anaesthetic to treat these infections.
  • We alleged that:
  • 1. It was a breach of duty of care to abandon the left hemiarthroplasty owing to a lack of equipment. This meant that our client needed another operation to complete the procedure. This put her at a greater risk of future infection and further bone weakness.
  • 2. It was a breach of duty of care to cause a fracture during the second stage hemiarthroplasty and to enact an inadequate repair of this. This caused the need for the fracture to be repaired and this failed which caused the need for further surgery.
  • 3. It was a breach of duty of care to cause nerve damage during the third operation. This caused permanent loss of function, infection and four abscesses requiring four operations under general anaesthetic.
  • Our client was successful in her surgical error compensation claim.
  • She recovered the sum of £50,000 in compensation.

Case Study 4: £3,000 in Compensation

  • Our client suffered from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (compression of the nerve) in her left hand. This caused her to experience constant pins and needles, numbness, and pain in her fingers. She also suffered from a constant aching in her wrist.
  • Our client underwent a carpal tunnel release operation. However, she immediately felt considerable pain after the operation and continued to suffer from her previous symptoms. Unfortunately, this meant that she was unable to grip anything. She required assistance with daily tasks.
  • Our client attended three different orthopaedic doctors and a neurophysiologist over the period of 8 months before revision surgery was planned. The operation, which was to release the carpal tunnel a second time, was successful.
  • We alleged that the defendant breached their duty of care to our client by failing to release part of the carpal tunnel ligament. As a result, our client suffered eight months of unnecessary pain.
  • Our client received £3,000 compensation for her surgical error.

Case Study 5: £17,500 in Compensation

  • During our Client’s routine vasectomy procedure, inadequate anesthetic was applied, resulting in the Claimant being able to feel everything and he was shouting out in agony.
  • Once further anesthetic was applied, the surgeon proceeded with the vasectomy.
  • When at home later that day, the Claimant’s wound began bleeding profusely and he was admitted to hospital.
  • The wound had opened up and part of the spermatic cord had extruded. The Claimant required repair surgery and was warned that he may lose a testicle.
  • Fortunately, the Claimant’s testicle has been salvaged but his recovery period was protracted and he experienced avoidable pain during this period.
  • We alleged that the Defendant failed to carry out the vasectomy with adequate care and skill, and we have successfully recovered compensation of £17,500 for the Claimant.


Do you have a potential medical negligence claim?

Please contact us for advice if you feel you have suffered any negligent medical or dental treatment. Our specialist team of medical negligence solicitors are always happy to help. We tend to work on a team basis. This means that we can pool our legal and medical knowledge to offer the best service to our clients.

If you would like free initial advice on whether you have a potential clinical negligence claim please contact us on 01244 354688. Our friendly team will be more than happy to speak to you. You can also fill in our contact form here. It is important that you contact us as soon as possible, as there are legal time limits in place for starting a compensation claim. Our specialist clinical negligence solicitors will be able to advise you specifically on the facts of your own case.

For free advice from our Medical Negligence solicitors, please call us direct on 01244 354688

Linda Schermer-Jones

Head of the Clinical Negligence Department, Associate Director & Medical Negligence Solicitor

Kerry Goulden

Associate Director & Medical Negligence Solicitor

Liz Fry

Associate Director & Medical Negligence Solicitor

Emma Woodrow

Clinical Negligence Legal Adviser