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Medical negligence specialist Suzanne White secures substantial six-figure sum for client

A significant six-figure sum has been paid to our client after a hospital procedure went wrong.

Photo of hand x-ray: istock

27 February 2012

Clinical negligence partner Suzanne White has settled a medical negligence claim on behalf of her client who has received a six-figure sum of compensation after the nerve was injured in her arm during an anaesthetic procedure.  Her arm is almost entirely useless and she been left in severe pain. 

Local anaesthetic procedure went wrong

Our client (Y) who had previously worked as a landscape gardener began to suffer from an inflamed and painful wrist.  It was recommended that she undergo a trapeziectomy – a procedure whereby the trapezium bone is taken out of the wrist and replaced with a tendon. 

When our client attended hospital she was prepared for a local anaesthetic, or brachial plexus block, where anaesthetic is injected into the armpit to set up a block to the pain in the arm whilst the surgery takes place.  Unfortunately, for our client the junior doctor administering the block struggled to find the correct place to insert the anaesthetic needle despite making several attempts.  It was during these attempts that Y cried out in extreme pain when the needle was inserted into her armpit. A senior doctor was called who proceeded to administer the anaesthetic needle in the correct place.  Y then underwent the procedure and she was sent home soon after.

However, in subsequent check-ups and reviews she reported that she was still suffering from extreme pain in her arm and it was noted that she was unable to use her arm for every day tasks, and the muscles had become wasted because they were not being used. Our client was convinced that her symptoms had been caused by the poorly-administered anaesthetic and she was later diagnosed as having chronic pain and damage to the medial cord of the brachial plexus. 

Our client has now been compensated for the injury to the nerve in her arm  that she received during the administration of the local anaesthetic.

Our client’s injury is permanent; she needs help with everyday tasks, and also suffers from enduring and chronic pain.

Clinical negligence lawyer Suzanne White said:

“My client has suffered a debilitating injury. Since the damage to the nerve in her arm she has suffered chronic and severe pain. The pain keeps her awake at night.

"She can no longer do the very basic of every day tasks without assistance. She needs help with getting dressed and doing her shopping.

"What is of great concern was that such an incident could have occurred at all. If the senior doctor had undertaken this procedure in the first place my client would never have suffered such a dreadful injury."

Clinical negligence and medical accident claims specialists

Leigh Day & Co's clinical negligence claims lawyers are highly experienced in bringing successful claims for compensation relating to medical accidents, hospital negligence and hospital accidents and errors. The team has been rated as a leader in this field for over a decade by both main legal directories. Chambers 2012 said the team had an "outstanding" reputation for its clinical negligence work.

We have extensive experience in handling complex and high-value medical negligence claims and have succeeded in securing millions of pounds in compensation in areas such as child brain injury (including cerebral palsy and Erbs Palsy claims), brain injury claims, spinal injury claims (including cauda equina cases), amputation claims, surgery and cancer cases, infectious diseases, delayed cancer diagnosis, damage to nerves and orthopaedic claims, and claims for the loss of sight or hearing.  Our team includes former nurses, doctors and a radiographer, some of whom are now qualified solicitors, as well as forensic accountants.

We have received recognition as being specialists in the field of clinical negligence work with our accreditations from AvMA, CBIT, the Law Society and Headway.

Please contact the new enquiries team on 020 7650 1200 and someone will call you back for a free and friendly initial consultation.

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Our expertise

Clinical negligence claims

Anaesthetic claims

Who worked on this case

Suzanne White