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Five-figure settlement for woman who suffered colon perforation during routine hysterectomy

A woman in her late forties has received compensation following a surgical error

Abdominal xray

20 March 2017

A woman in her late forties, known only as Yasmin to protect her identity, has received compensation from St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust after being injured during a laparoscopic hysterectomy in 2011.

Yasmin was admitted to St George’s Hospital for a routine elective hysterectomy.  Following the procedure, Yasmin began feeling sick and vomiting.  Three days after the surgery, an exploratory laparotomy was performed which identified faecal peritonitis caused by a hole in Yasmin’s colon.

Yasmin’s abdomen needed to be drained and a colostomy put in place.  She also endured an extended stay in the Intensive Care Unit because of the injury.  During this time, she also developed myocarditis and sepsis.

Since being discharged from hospital Yasmin has continued to experience hernias as a result of the bowel injury and subsequent procedures.

St George’s Hospital defended the claim arguing that it was not necessarily negligent for the surgeon to have perforated Yasmin’s colon during the hysterectomy.  They also stated that the failure to identify and treat the perforation was not negligent.

Eventually, the hospital offered to settle Yasmin’s claim for a five-figure sum.

Yasmin was represented by medical negligence partner at Leigh Day, Kirsten Wall, who said:

“To suffer such awful repercussions from an elective and routine procedure was terrifying for Yasmin.  I am pleased that we could obtain damages for her.”’

 “Yasmin should have been able to expect competent care during her routine hysterectomy.  Instead, she endured severe pain, a long stay in Intensive Care, and the long-lasting effects of a perforated colon.  I am pleased that, despite the hospital’s initial denial of liability, it has paid Yasmin the damages she is entitled to.”

Yasmin said:

“‘Kirsten and Leila my legal team were there every step of the way. I still have to live with the ongoing pain this has caused but it's been great to know Leigh Day has been on my side supporting me”.

This article was drafted by trainee Leila Grove, who assisted on the case.

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