A woman who suffered brain damage following bowel surgery has secured compensation to help pay for the ongoing support and care she now needs as a result of the injury.
Nicola Wainwright, specialist clinical negligence solicitor, successfully agreed the settlement of a claim on behalf of the client, known only as J, who suffered brain damage whilst receiving treatment at a private hospital.
J was 75 years old when she was admitted to the Cromwell Hospital in London, which is owned and run by BUPA, for bowel surgery during which a three-way catheter was inserted. A nurse, who it subsequently transpired had not been trained in its use, opened the three ports on the catheter causing an air embolus, which travelled to J’s brain. J, by now unconscious, was transferred to Critical Care, where she was placed in an induced coma for several days.
When she was brought round she was found to have suffered neurological damage. She had little movement on her left side, her left hand was clawed, she had uncontrolled tremor in and difficulty using both hands. She also had difficulty walking. She found it difficult to find words and her cognitive function was affected. Although her condition slowly improved she has been left with permanent brain damage.
BUPA admitted liability accepting that the nurse’s care was negligent and that this had caused J’s neurological injury. BUPA subsequently provided J with an apology for the failures in their care and put in place changes to try to ensure another patient was not injured in the same way.
Once discharged from hospital, J required care and assistance to help her with her day-to-day activities including dressing, making meals and drinks, looking after the house and she needed someone to accompany her outside. Despite physiotherapy and occupational therapy, J has not been able to return to walking without support and has not regained full use of her arm and hand function. She has been left requiring ongoing assistance, unable to live fully independently. Her home needed adapting and ultimately she moved to a more suitable property.
J’s memory has been permanently affected and she now finds planning and organising difficult because of the damage to her brain. She was able to return to work but is not able to attend as much or operate at the same high level as before she was injured.
Through negotiation at a round table meeting solicitor Nicola Wainwright of Leigh Day and barrister Matthew Barnes of One Crown Office Row were able to negotiate successful settlement of J’s claim. BUPA agreed to pay a lump sum of compensation which will enable J to pay for the help, therapy and equipment she needs.
“J is a very determined lady and through hard work she made great progress given the brain injury she suffered. However J’s life was irrevocably changed for the worse by the Defendant’s negligence and the effect on her should be not be underestimated. Her injuries have resulted in her being denied the chance to carry on doing the things she enjoyed and her brain injury has taken away her independence.
“J has been left needing help and support which is expensive to obtain. In my view it is only right that in a fair society that expense should be met by those who caused her injuries through incompetent care. I am delighted we were able to agree settlement and ensure that she has a level of financial security and the ability to pay for her additional needs into the future.”