We are currently investigating a claim on behalf of a client who underwent a hysterectomy and suffered massive post-operative bleeding which required life-saving surgery.
Our client needed a hysterectomy for the treatment of fibroids and her surgery appeared to be uneventful. However, her haemoglobin levels dropped post-operatively and her stomach became distended. As this indicated internal bleeding, a decision was taken to give her a blood transfusion. Regrettably, due to nursing staff shortages, this was delayed overnight and did not start until the next morning, by which time her haemoglobin level was even lower.
Further delays followed during which our client’s haemoglobin fell to a critical and unstable level. She and her family were then told that her condition was serious and she required urgent surgery from which she might not survive.
In theatre it was discovered that there was significant bleeding. Our client’s surgeon later told her that the most likely cause of the internal bleeding was suture failure at the hysterectomy performed by a junior doctor. Our independent expert has considered the medical records and the imaging available and agrees that the most likely cause of the post-operative bleeding was suture failure as there was no other logical explanation for the bleeding. In his opinion, the care provided by the hospital fell below an acceptable standard.
The claim is on-going as the NHS Trust currently not only denies liability but also specifically denies that there was suture failure despite the explanation provided to our client by her treating surgeon. Alison Johnson, senior associate in the clinical negligence team, is dealing with the claim and says: “This is a very genuine claim in which we have strong supportive evidence and, indeed, our client’s treating surgeon appears to have been open and honest with her about the mistakes made. It is therefore surprising and disappointing to be met with a denial of liability in the face of that. We are now left in the position of having no alternative but to litigate the claim to try to bring it to a conclusion and to recover the damages our client deserves. She is very keen that lessons are learnt and this does not happen to anyone else.”