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Compensation for client who suffered injury following surgery to repair a broken elbow

Negligent surgery specialist lawyers secure damages for injured client

Photo of elbow physiotherapy: istock

12 July 2012

Clinical negligence specialists Sally-Jean Nicholes and Angharad Vaughan, have recovered compensation for Ms K who suffered neurological damage to her dominant right arm and hand following routine surgery to repair a broken elbow. When Ms K awoke following surgery she had suffered a complete loss of movement and altered sensation in her right dominant arm and hand.

Over the next few days Ms K’s symptoms did not improve. It became clear to her that those treating her were aware that something had gone badly wrong during the surgery. Ms K was eventually sent home 20 days after surgery, with very limited movement in her right arm or hand. She was told she would need extensive physiotherapy.

In her follow-up appointments, Ms K was diagnosed with radial, ulnar and median nerve damage as a result of negligence during this surgery. Expert orthopaedic evidence showed that the tourniquet used during surgery was applied for too long. While it should have been applied for a maximum of one hour before being released to allow blood flow back in to the arm, it had remained inflated for two hours, twelve minutes. We argued that had the tourniquet been used correctly there would not have been any neurological complications.

Fortunately, over the following 12 months and with physiotherapy, Ms K regained much of the movement in her right arm and hand, although she has not made a complete recovery; Ms K continues to suffer from pain and stiffness and does not have full movement or strength in her right arm and hand. She has been advised that she is unlikely to recover further.

Following Leigh Day’s investigation, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability and agreed to pay a five figure sum to compensate Ms K for her injuries and other financial losses.

For more information please contact Angharad Vaughan on 020 7650 1200.

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