£55,000 recovered for local woman after a foreign body was left behind following surgery in July 2006

The claimant, aged 33, suffers with a rare condition know as C1 esterase inhibitor deficiency, which causes various parts of her body to swell and to cause pain at regular intervals. Prior to July 2006 she was experiencing these symptoms approximately once every week, resulting in, on average, two days of pain and inability to undertake housework/care for her family.

As a result of the failure to remove the foreign body (a piece of portacath) left behind following surgery in July 2006, our client suffered about twice as many attacks of swelling and pain.

Despite our client repeatedly asking whether anything had been left inside her, the hospital staff failed to properly examine her or undertake scans to check, such that it took almost 3 years for the foreign body to be identified. This was eventually removed with further surgery in July 2009.

Following removal of the foreign body, our client no longer suffered with the additional attacks of swelling and pain.

The East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability for the failure to remove the foreign body in July 2006, with the resulting increase in attacks of swelling and pain over the course of the next three years, and settlement was reached in the total amount of £55,000.

Alex Tengroth, who had conduct of the case throughout, commented:-

“This was an unusual and interesting case involving a rare medical condition, which presented its own unique challenges. It underlines the importance of full investigations, the need to listen to patients, and to not make assumptions.

Thankfully, my client has now made a full recovery following the further surgery in July 2009.

I am very pleased with the level of settlement that we managed to secure for her.”