DB v The Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (2018)
DB was a healthy lady who worked part-time in a local shop. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer. As part of her treatment she underwent a robotic assisted hysterectomy in May 2014 using the ‘da Vinci’ surgical system.
During the surgery, the surgeon caused a superficial burn to the ureter which was noticed by him but left untreated. DB was discharged the next day. At her follow up appointment one week later she was leaking urine and a CT scan confirmed a urinary fistula to the bladder. She underwent four further surgeries to repair the fistula but all were unsuccessful and she was still leaking urine.
Her case rested on the fact that although the surgery in relation to the cancer was effective and the cancer had not returned, the burn should have been recognised and repaired immediately.
In November 2016 the Trust admitted that the robotic machinery inadvertently caused a burn and this combined with the failure to treat caused all of her subsequent problems.
The claim was valued in the region of £650,000 but DB unfortunately passed away due to an unrelated medical condition in 2018 (before the claim was finalised). The claim was continued by her family but was
limited in value to her pain and suffering in the four years prior to her death, her loss of earnings and all medication and incontinence products she had purchased.
Please all see the blog by Punam Sood on this topic: