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Settlement secured following negligent kidney treatment

A settlement has been secured for a woman following negligent treatment at Barnet Hospital, part of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust group, which resulted in the loss of her right kidney.

9 October 2020

The diabetic woman, who we have called Lydia, was treated for the removal of kidney stones, but an underlying condition was missed.
Lydia had a congenital uretero-pelvic junction obstruction but did not suffer from any notable symptoms until she was around 57 years of age.
The obstruction was picked up when urological symptoms of pain and infection became troublesome, but the condition was misunderstood to be only due to kidney stones which were also present. 
The treatment therefore was repeat stenting, which was appropriate for either condition. However, when the kidney stones were removed, urologists believed they had dealt with Lydia’s problem and didn’t spot the underlying and contributing obstruction of the right kidney. This went untreated and when the stent was removed shortly after the stones, the deterioration of the still-blocked kidney went unchecked.
Lydia suspected that the stone removal had not resolved her problems and repeatedly asked for kidney function tests. Her concerns were dismissed, and the test was not performed.
By the time the kidney was recognised to be in trouble, Lydia had already suffered progressive kidney shrinkage and swelling of the kidney. The kidney could not be saved and had to be removed which caused great stress for Lydia.
The Trust admitted liability and a settlement was secured.
Lydia said:
“I felt that my case was taken seriously from the beginning and was dealt with in a professional manner by the team at Leigh Day. My queries were addressed promptly with kindness and respect and with the great help of the team the case was closed with success. I am extremely satisfied with the service received.”
Anna Brothers, solicitor at Leigh Day, said:
“This could have been avoided if Lydia’s concerns had been listened to.  If the Trust had performed basic kidney function tests, Lydia could have and should have been re-stented which would have secured kidney drainage temporarily following which she could have had a pyeloplasty to address the obstruction more permanently.”

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