Punctured oesophagus medical negligence claim

Solicitor Clarissa Ellerington has successfully concluded a punctured oesophagus medical negligence claim.

Background to the claim

Our client had been regurgitating food and was advised she required a pharyngo-oesophagoscopy and an external cricopharyngeal myotomy. Initially she recovered well. Although she struggled to drink, this was put down to swelling from the operation, so she was discharged from hospital without further investigations.

Four days after being discharged our client attended Colchester Hospital A&E with a swollen face and an abscess. She was transferred to Ipswich Hospital for treatment. She underwent emergency surgery to remove the abscess and was intubated and ventilated. Due to a swollen airway, she remained in ICU for 5 days until she was well enough to go home.

Shortly after, our client was diagnosed with a post-operative infection and severe oropharyngeal dysphagia following the initial surgery. Because of the severity of her symptoms she was tube fed for 6 weeks.

8 months after the first procedure our client was re-admitted and underwent stapling of her pharyngeal pouch.

The case for negligence

We agreed to take on the case and work under a no win, no fee agreement. This meant our client did not have to pay anything out of her own pocket, or fund any upfront costs in order to pursue her claim against the Health Trust.

After our clinical negligence team had investigated the case we presented the Trust with details of our clients claim and the allegations against them. We said that the original surgery was not carried out to an acceptable standard, and that the surgery should have been conducted endoscopically. We alleged that the pharyngeal pouch should have been excised along with the myotomy, as a cricopharyngeal myotomy alone would not have relieved the client’s symptoms. As a consequence, our client underwent a further procedure that could have been avoided. We also alleged there was a failure to carry out the correct procedure.

We instructed a Consultant ENT surgeon to provide further expert medical analysis of our client’s treatment and her injuries as a consequence. The expert agreed our client had received care that fell below the reasonable standard and supported the legal claim against the Trust. We were therefore able to say that if the correct surgery had been performed initially, our client would have avoided additional surgery and her pain and suffering would have been less.

Following this, partial admissions were made by the Trust in respect of the treatment provided and Clarissa entered into negotiations with them. The Trust made an initial offer of compensation, but Clarissa rejected this, referring them to case law that supported a higher sum. Having done so, she was ultimately successful in reaching an out of court settlement at an increased level, which her client was happy to accept.

For experienced advice on making a punctured oesophagus medical negligence claim contact our free legal helpline.

Call 0333 888 0404 or send an email to us at [email protected]

Picture of Clarissa Ellerington

Clarissa Ellerington

Picture of Clarissa Ellerington

Clarissa Ellerington

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