Failure to remove shunts causes permanent brain damage

Failure to remove shunts causes permanent brain damage

Meet Jack, a gentleman who was diagnosed with a colloid cyst in his brain. Jack underwent surgery which involved the insertion of shunts (hollow tubes to help drain fluid and redirect it to another location). The intention was that the shunts would be temporary and should be removed later in the year. Unfortunately, the plan to remove the shunts did not come to fruition.

6 years later, Jack visited the hospital due to an episode of severe headaches. Over the next 7 years, he attended hospital on numerous occasions, and he eventually developed hydrocephalus (a neurological disorder caused by an abnormal buildup of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain). The progressive development of the hydrocephalus during this period should have been apparent from brain scans which were performed, but sadly, no action was taken.

As a direct result of the negligent treatment and the brain injury which he suffered, Jack’s life changed completely. He was no longer able to live entirely independently and relied upon friends and relatives to organise and support him on a day-to-day basis.

The brain injury resulted in a significant reduction in his short-term memory and attention span and made it difficult for him to make decisions. It also impacted his mood and self-esteem which caused him to become something of a recluse, as he no longer felt comfortable interacting with others.

A year later, Jack approached Wolferstans Solicitors and Simon Parford, a Senior Partner in their Medical Negligence team, took on his case. Simon worked with a barrister and various medical experts to establish that the failure to remove the shunts had resulted in the development of all Jack’s symptoms and that earlier removal would have prevented the development of hydrocephalus.

The Defendant did not accept liability for causing Jack’s injuries, but our team continued to issue and pursue court proceedings. Eventually the Defendant conceded that there had been a failure to diagnose and treat Jack’s developing hydrocephalus, and that had appropriate treatment been provided, Jack would not have suffered permanent brain damage.

After the hospital accepted liability, extensive investigations were undertaken to assist in valuing Jack’s claim. An interim payment of damages was obtained shortly after liability was admitted enabling Jack to pay various expenses which he had incurred as a result of his injury. The claim was subsequently settled for £950,000.

The award of damages has enabled Jack to fund care, therapies, and equipment, and pay for other support which he needs to enable him to live the best quality of life possible. We also assisted with setting up a Personal Injury Trust to ensure that Jack was entitled to continue to receive his means-tested benefits.

If you, or someone you know, has been impacted by medical negligence and would like to speak to one of our experts, please get in touch to discuss how we can help you.

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