If you or a member of your family is suffering from a personal injury caused by medical negligence during or following a hysterectomy, you may be entitled to make a claim for damages. Our specialist personal injury lawyers can assist with clinical negligence compensation claims, so contact us today on 0800 032 8511 for advice, or by completing a claim enquiry form.
Although hysterectomy operations are now much safer than in previous years and are mostly carried out competently without any problems, they are still major surgical procedures and carry with them a certain level of risk.
There are some complications that may arise that are not caused by any fault on the part of the surgeon. However other surgical errors can be attributed to negligence. If damage caused during an operation goes unnoticed and untreated, this may also constitute negligence.
Some of the recognised risks of hysterectomy procedures will be explained to a patient prior to the operation. The most common of these include damage to the bowel or bladder. It is therefore important that the patient gives informed consent to the procedure.
In itself an accidental perforation of the bladder or bowel is not generally considered to be negligent, especially if there are adhesions present from previous operations. The surgeon should however recognise that the damage has occurred and repair it carefully. In these cases, it is unlikely that a successful claim for compensation could be made.
If the bowel or bladder is damaged and the hole is not repaired however, there can be very serious implications.
Damage to the bowel can result in peritonitis and sepsis if faecal matter is allowed to leak into the abdomen. Further surgery would be required and, dependent upon the amount of time that elapses before the mistake is noticed, the patient may have to be fitted with a colostomy bag. This can be very distressing and have a serious effect on the person’s quality of life.
Failure to recognise damage to the bladder can lead to a vesico vaginal fistula. This is when a hole allows urine to flow from the bladder into the vagina, causing leakage. It is often upsetting and embarrassing for the patient and further surgery has to be carried out.
In order to make a successful compensation claim, medical evidence will be required. It is necessary to show that the person you are making a claim against owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty of care, and that the injury you sustained was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of that breach. In clinical negligence cases this means that you have to prove that the treatment fell short of accepted standards of care.
At The Legal Line, we have access to experienced medical specialists who can act as expert witnesses in any court case. Your lawyer will be able to collate all of the necessary information and evidence to pursue your case to the best possible outcome.
There are two elements to a compensation award. The first is called general damages and is financial compensation for the pain and suffering you may have gone through and what is known as loss of amenity. This can include an award for your inability to do things after the medical accident that you used to be able to do before, eg, play sports, walk the dog, carry out housework etc. The award for loss of amenity can be for a short period after a medical accident or for ever if that is what the medical evidence supports.
The second element of a compensation award is for your losses and expenses and is known as special damages. It is important to keep receipts for any expenditure you have related to the medical accident, so that these can be reclaimed. The aim is to put you back in a position financially as if the medical accident had never occurred.
An award in a clinical negligence case is based on the negligent treatment effects that you would not have had if the treatment had been a success. There may be information available on previous awards in similar cases. Very often, clinical negligence cases are settled out of court.
The Legal Line lawyers have extensive experience in recovering compensation for the victims of clinical negligence, including claims for surgical errors and hysterectomy complications. They can provide expert claim advice on all areas of making a claim and offer the assistance and guidance that you need.