Central cost woman awarded over $210,000 in compensation after developing sepsis following surgery at Sydney hospital

Published 27 Oct 2017

This matter involved a woman who was diagnosed with and treated for Chron’s disease many years ago and at the time of the subject treatment was asymptomatic. After beginning to experience recurring abdominal pain in 2013, a gastroenterologist recommended that she have an appendectomy.

Our client attended upon a Sydney hospital and underwent the scheduled appendectomy. Unfortunately, in the days following the surgery, our client continued to suffer severe and worsening pain in her abdomen. She was advised that the pain was ‘post-operative’ pain and she was given pain management medication. She was ultimately discharged home the day after her surgery, despite her instructions to hospital staff that the pain was unbearable.

Over the next few weeks, the pain continued to worsen upon her return home. Approximately two weeks after the initial procedure, our client was admitted to another hospital where she underwent blood transfusions and had drains inserted into her abdomen. It was ultimately concluded that she had developed intraabdominal sepsis and intra-abdominal haemorrhages. She spent a further eight weeks in hospital where she was treated for these serious conditions whilst still experiencing excruciating pain each day. Since this time, our client has continually been admitted to hospital emergency departments to have drains inserted and managed. Unfortunately, she continues to experience ongoing pain to date and has been diagnosed with Chronic Pain Disorder.

As a result of the unsatisfactory execution of the appendectomy and post-operative care, our client has suffered ongoing injuries and disabilities including constant intense pain, difficulty eating, depression, inability to return to work, reflux and an ongoing requirement to take medication to manage her symptoms. Our client was extremely distressed as a result of her experience and the injuries she continues to suffer from.

Our client approached Gerard Malouf and Partners to enquire about whether or not she was entitled to compensation for the treatment she received at the hospital. Christine Beshay, Accredited Personal Injury Specialist, was of the view that this claim had merit and began to gather evidence in support of our client’s claim.

Ms Beshay proceeded to brief an expert gastrointestinal surgeon and infectious diseases physician to provide their opinions on whether or not the surgeon was negligent in the execution of this procedure on and subsequent treatment of our client. We also had our client medically assessed in order to determine the extent of her injuries and entitlement to damages. Ultimately, the evidence was conclusive that the surgeon’s treatment was not in accordance with peer professional standards and therefore negligence was established.

Mindful of the expensive and lengthy nature of running a matter to hearing, Ms Beshay arranged a mediation with the Defendant with the hopes of reaching a settlement that was acceptable to our client. After lengthy negotiations, Ms Beshay was able to settle this case for an amount of over $210,000 in compensation for our client. Our client was very pleased with this result.

Our expert medical negligence lawyers have the knowledge and skills to reach the best outcome for anyone who has suffered as a result of sub-standard or negligent treatment from any type of medical practitioner. If you think that you may be entitled to compensation based on injuries you have suffered as a result of negligent medical treatment, please call us today on 1800 004 878  for advice or to take advantage of a free consultation with one of our accredited personal injury specialists.