Claimant, aged 57 years, admitted to Defendant Trust’s hospital with abdominal pains. Diagnosis of pancreatitis was made and treated conservatively using intravenous fluid, antibiotics and pain relief. Ultrasound showed no duct dilation or stones. Subsequent CT scan revealed severe complicated pancreatitis with necrosis of body and large mass extending from stomach to anterior and posterior left pararenal spaces.

One week after being admitted, an ultrasound guided drain was inserted into pseudo cyst and a large amount of haemorrhagic fluid drained. Drain remained in situ and Claimant was discharged with follow up, but no further antibiotics provided. He was advised to monitor levels of fluid draining over four to six weeks. Claimant’s condition deteriorated and one month later was readmitted as an emergency. Upon examination it was noted pus was discharging from the drain and he was treated with intravenous antibiotics. He was transferred to another hospital where endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) was performed. There was complete disruption of the pancreatic duct. Stent was inserted and CT scan showed retroperitoneal disease. He subsequently underwent debridement and a feeding jejunostomy, as well as insertion of two drains into pancreatic bed. The drains were removed two months later.

Claimant alleged negligence in delay in investigating his symptoms further and performing ERCP when he was originally admitted, which would have shortened the length of his illness by 30-60 days. Liability disputed. The Defendant Trust argued initial conservative management was appropriate.

Out of court settlement: £7,500.