Prolonged surgical posture results in a medical negligence case with an award of $400,000

PUBLISHED 10 Sep 2013

Our client was referred by his general practitioner to a urologist with an elevated psa (indicator for prostrate cancer) and biopsy was performed.

He then had underwent a second prostatic biopsy and was advised that the cancer was slightly more aggressive and to proceed to radical perineal prostactomy.   He was admitted as a public patient in a NSW Public Hospital.

His surgery was prolonged at a total of 5 hours, with four hours of surgery plus an hour of positioning in the lithothomian position, which posture, has a particular known risk in long surgery and requires “extraordinary precautions” against the very outcome which eventuated in this case. The total 5 hour surgery was considered overly long and without proper explanation as to why such surgery had taken so long.

Whilst the procedure was a technical success with an excellent urological result our client suffered from acute renal failure, with mioglobinuria due to muscle ischaemia from poor blood flow to the muscles, all as a result of the length he was in the surgical posture.

Whilst in hospital our client went on to develop rhabdomyolysis, septicaemia and acute renal impairment from which he recovered but was left with an acute neuropathic pain syndrome or an acute illness polyneuropathy affecting his extremities, particularly his feet.

We were able to obtain specialist urologist evidence from a highly qualified expert who gave his opinion that the length of the surgery was excessive and as a result our client suffered complications resulting in permanent injury. 

The complications were serious and left our client severely disabled by peripheral neuritis which left his feet numb on the soles and allydonic on top and requires ongoing anti spasmodic therapy, analgesia and anti depressant treatment.

He was off work for seven months and he returned to light duties, escalating over three months to full duties by approximately April 2012 with employer support.

Our medical negligence expert Leslie Abboud, was able to obtain $400,000.00 for our client’s with a settlement reach at mediation which meant our client was also able to avoid having to go to court.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.