£60,000 recovered for failure to remove retained guide wire

Our client, Mr B, was admitted to the intensive therapy unit at the QEQM Hospital, MArgate, Kent suffering from acute pancreatitis.

A guide wire from a femoral central line inserted after admission was left in situ.  The line should not have been left in and should have been detected before Mr B was discharged from hospital.

Mr B was re-admitted to hospital the following year suffering a DVT and at that point the retention of the guide wire was revealed and it was removed.  The procedure required the insertion of an IVC filter that was meant to be temporary.  Unfortunately, the removal of the filter was not followed up and it is has now had to be left permanently.

Mr B was also commenced on Warfarin which is he is now advised to stay on permanently.

As a direct consequence of the Trust’s negligence Mr B suffered pain and swelling in his right leg and he developed patches of spider veins/deep pigmentation in the lower limb which have a risk of causing severe skin changes in the future. He also required an operative procedure to remove the retained guide wire and the insertion of an IVC filter.

Mr B now lives with a slight increased risk of IVC filter fracture and/or migration within the venous system and the on-going risks of taking anti coagulant therapy.

The East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability but argued that the case only had a very low value on causation grounds.  Nonetheless settlement was reached in the sum of £60,000 on a full and final basis as a result of the evidence obtained to support the claim.

Stephen Evans, who had conduct of the case, commented:-

“This was a case where the hospital’s negligence has caused potentially life threatening injuries but thankfully our client has recovered sufficiently to return to his occupation as a commercial fisherman properly compensated for his losses”.