Compensation claim following negligent biopsy procedure

Posted by Gemma Osgood on

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Mr C was diagnosed with cancer of the liver. It was suspected that he had secondary cancer in his pancreas and so he was to undergo a biopsy of his pancreas at Mount Alvernia Hospital. Mr C was on anticoagulants which were not stopped before the procedure.

During the procedure our client experienced significant pain and became very light headed and clammy. After the procedure Mr C deteriorated and his blood pressure dropped. A CT scan was due to be arranged but was never carried out. Some 6 hours after surgery Mr C was eventually transferred to the Royal Surrey County Hospital where he underwent immediate surgery to remove 2 litres of blood from his chest which was the result of a blood vessel being cut during the biopsy earlier that day. Mr C had to be given 8 units of blood and required a 10 day stay in hospital. The biopsy should have been straightforward day surgery.

As a result of the problems our client experienced, he suffered a delay in starting his chemotherapy because he was at risk of jaundice, and there were concerns his liver would be unable to process the chemotherapy. Mr C did eventually start chemotherapy but sadly died some 2 months after the biopsy.

Whilst we were unable to say that our client's death was the result of the negligence during the biopsy procedure, we were able to successfully argue that Mr C's anticoagulants should have been stopped prior to surgery, and also that his internal bleeding should have been diagnosed and treated much sooner than it actually was. As a result we were able to obtain £12,500 in compensation for Mr C's estate.

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About the Author

Gemma is a Senior Associate in our Clinical Negligence team with extensive experience in all areas of medical negligence claims.

Gemma Osgood
Email Gemma
023 8085 7248

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