Compensation for patients death after surgical error

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Digby Brown secured £340,000 in compensation when a woman in her 70s died after a surgeon opened the wrong side of her skull to remove a benign brain tumour.

Mrs P’s husband approached Digby Brown to investigate a clinical negligence claim against the health board.

Our specialist lawyer Joanne Gosney worked diligently alongside the family and drafted in medical experts to prove the health board contributed to the death of Mrs P due to surgical errors.

A robust and thorough investigation found that during pre-operation procedures the surgeon correctly noted the tumour was on the left side of Mrs P’s head.

However, when she was positioned on the operating table they turned her head to the right and carried out a craniotomy – a process where a piece of skull bone is removed to access the brain.

It was only after the surgeon couldn’t find a tumour that the surgical team realised they explored the wrong side of Mrs P’s skull.

The surgical team closed the craniotomy and repositioned Mrs P’s head to the left for the same procedure – this time removing the tumour.

However while recovering in an intensive therapy unit, Mrs P died a few weeks later from bacterial meningitis.

A medical expert ruled Mrs P had a blood clot on the right of her brain which would not exist if medics had performed the right operation in the first place.

Digby Brown raised the action in court for surgical negligence and went on to secure compensation of £340,000 for Mrs P’s husband and family.

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