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Mrs Brown’s story: £45,000 awarded for damage from negligent surgery

Case study showing a breakdown of the damages awarded

Negligent care during a routine operation caused massive bleeding. As a result, instead of going home later that day, Mrs Brown spent seven days in intensive care and was off work for seven months.

Mrs Brown was a 49-year-old lady who went into hospital for a routine gallbladder removal. The operation was to be done through keyhole surgery and she expected to be home later on the same day. She was looking forward to celebrating her 50th birthday on a cruise. However, due to negligent care during the surgery, Mrs Brown’s hepatic artery was cut, causing a massive bleed. The operation was converted to an open surgery to stop the bleeding.

As a consequence of this negligence, Mrs Brown required a period of seven days in the intensive care unit and another ten days of recuperation on a ward. She then developed a wound infection and was admitted to hospital again on two occasions, each for several days at a time. Her lengthy recovery required a great deal of care and assistance from her family following discharge from hospital. She was absent from her employment as a clerical officer for a period of seven months.

As a result of the negligence, Mrs Brown suffered from:
  • A lengthy recovery period involving significant pain.
  • Extensive scarring.
  • An incisional hernia in the scar needing correction.
  • Anxiety and depression, particularly around future medical treatment requiring 10 sessions of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
The damages awarded can be broken down as follows:

General Damages:

  • Pain Suffering and Loss of Amenity - £33,000

Special Damages for Past Losses

  • Care: £5000
  • Travel: £300
  • Loss of Earnings: £2000

Special Damages for Future Losses

  • Future Treatment: £3000
  • Future Care: £2000
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