£20,000 recovered for negligent catheterisation

8th July 2021 – Our client, a 75-year-old man from Kent, suffered a fractured left hip in a non-negligent fall and was taken to the QEQM Hospital in Margate on 30.11.2017.An initial catheterisation that night was acceptably performed and the plan was for our client to undergo surgical fixation of his hip fracture the next day.

However, our client’s catheter became blocked overnight and this required removal and re-insertion. That attempted re-catheterisation on the morning of 01.12.17 was negligently performed. Multiple unsuccessful attempts were made to place the catheter and this resulted in false passages being caused in the urethra as well as trauma to the bladder neck.

In addition, the catheter was not correctly placed and failed to drain the bladder. This resulted in a significant retention of urine. A further re-catheterisation was attempted that afternoon but this was again unsuccessful.

Ultimately, our client was found to have 1.4 litres of urine within the bladder and he was referred to the Kent & Canterbury Hospital for surgical re-catheterisation by the urological team that night.

As a result of the significant retention of urine and the need for surgical intervention for re-catheterisation, our client developed an urinoma (a collection of urine in the pelvis through extravasation of urine via the false passages / trauma to the bladder neck), an ileus (non-functioning bowel), and abdominal distension.

As a result of the abdominal distension, our client’s planned surgical fixation of the left hip fracture was delayed.

This meant that he was unable to mobilise and had to remain in bed awaiting his surgery. That delay in surgery resulted in him developing a Grade 2/3 sacral pressure sore which took around 12 months to fully heal.

Supportive expert evidence was obtained and a Letter of Claim was submitted to the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust admitted liability and made an offer of £15,000. This did not meet out valuation of the claim, and it was settled shortly afterwards for £20,000.

Alex Tengroth, Senior Solicitor at Fairweathers LLP, said “This case is a reminder that even the most straightforward of medical procedures can cause serious injury if not performed competently. Thankfully, my client’s injuries resolved without any long term complications.”

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