Catherine was diagnosed with having a small tumor on her bowel. She underwent radiotherapy before having surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital in 2013. After the surgery, Catherine’s condition deteriorated. The family were advised that Catherine’s lung had collapsed and that the hospital were unsure as to why this had happened. Catherine was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and the family were advised that the next 24 hours would be crucial.
The ICU doctors discovered a tear in Catherine’s oesophagus in time and saved her. It was later confirmed that the damage that caused her lung to collapse had occurred during the operation.
Doppler Device Caused Operation Injury
Belfast Health & Social Care Trust carried out an investigation because of the seriousness of the incident. Their findings indicated that during the operation routine monitoring was instituted. In addition, operative monitoring was carried out by an Anaesthetist using a CardioQ Oesophageal Doppler device. The report further highlighted that the safety features of the Doppler are significantly compromised if constrained within an endotracheal tube which was used during Catherine’s operation. Recommendations were made that the Doppler device in question should no longer be used until an appropriate training programme is implemented.
Catherine Required Care and Assistance
In the aftermath of the incident giving rise to the claim, Catherine’s recovery was slow. She was only able to drink fluids by the time of her discharge from hospital. She subsequently progressed to a thickened diet but was unable to swallow large amounts without a feeling of sticking in the throat. In addition she suffered adverse psychological issues which were diagnosed as an adjustment disorder. Upon her release from hospital, her independence was compromised and she required care and assistance from family members.
Medical Negligence Claim Against Belfast Trust
Catherine’s family approached Paschal O’Hare solicitors on the recommendation of friends. We obtained medical reports from a consultant surgeon, an occupational therapist and a consultant psychiatrist to deal with the extent of Catherine’s claim. High Court Proceedings were issued in the case and liability quickly admitted by the defence. The matter was subsequently listed for trial. In advance of the trial, negotiations took place and the case settled in the sum of £25,000.