GP fails to diagnose appendicitis

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Our medical negligence team have notched up another success.

Clinical negligence lawyer Oliver Thorne was recently Instructed by the mother of a 10 year old boy to investigate the mis-diagnosis by his GP of appendicitis.

The young boy started complaining of stomach pains on 28 September 2014. This pain worsened and he started vomiting. His mother was advised, following a call to NHS 111, to attend his out of hours doctor’s surgery. His mother took him to Bideford Hospital at approximately 9pm where he was noted to be in “very severe pain”. His mother was told to monitor him and to speak to his GP if the symptoms became worse.

Unfortunately his symptoms did deteriorate and his mother took him, as advised, to see his GP. His mother raised the possibility of the pain being appendicitis as his sister had experienced this only a few months earlier. However, the GP examined him and advised that it was likely to be gastritis.

The boy’s condition failed to improve so his mother took him to see a different GP who referred him straight to hospital. On arrival at the hospital he was immediately taken to theatre and underwent an open appendectomy for a perforated appendix. He was subsequently transferred to the Paediatric High Dependency Unit “for close observation” where he remained for a number of days before being transferred back to the children’s ward. Unfortunately his condition deteriorated the following day and he started vomiting. He was again transferred to the High Dependency Unit where he was treated for an infection. He was eventually discharged approximately 1 week later.

We took the case on, agreeing to work on a No Win, No Fee basis.

A detailed Letter of Claim was sent to the GP alleging negligence in the diagnosis and treatment. We also obtained expert medical evidence relating to the GP’s breach of duty and the consequences of the delay in diagnosing the appendicitis.

A response was received from the GP’s defence union denying liability. However, after a short period of negotiation, a compensation package was eventually reached which the court formally approved.

If you require advice on negligent misdiagnosis or failure to treat an appendicitis then call our specialist medical negligence team on Freephone 0808 139 1606