Industry news roundup: week ended 4 Feb 2013:
A personal injury compensation award in the millions of pounds has been awarded to one mother who ended up with paralysis from the waist down after surgery.
Hazel Spence, a thirty five year old former beauty therapist and mother of two from Bilston that was a kick boxer in her teens, had been admitted to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital for what was supposed to have been a routine surgical procedure to excise a cyst that had been discovered between her shoulder blades. The surgery itself had been a success, but the actions of a junior doctor just two days afterwards left her paralysed when he decided to flush clear the drain that had been surgically implanted into her lower back in order to provide any excess fluid a way to be removed.
The doctor, who thought that the drain had become blocked, caused damage to the woman’s spinal cord as he forced fluid into the drain. As a result, Ms Spence now has no feeling from below the waist and can no longer move her legs due to the irreparable harm caused by the incorrect follow-up procedure and has left her trapped in a wheelchair, prompting her to launch a medical negligence claim against the NHS Trust managing the hospital.
The University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust has since capitulated to the demands of Ms Spence’s personal injury lawyers in that she has been awarded a compensation award that, while it has not been specified, is understood o be worth well over one million pounds. The funds will go towards not just purchasing the special equipment that the woman needs to provide for her long-term care needs but also to relocate both herself and her family to a specially adapted house that will fit her needs for wheelchair accessibility.
No word on what happened to the junior doctor that botched the operation. Hopefully he’ll be cleaning out bedpans for the rest of his tenure as a medical ‘professional.’