November 27, 2020

£450,000 for negligent neck surgery at Barts Health NHS Trust

The claimant, who suffered from hypothyroidism and underwent an operation at a London hospital for the removal of an enlarged lymph node in the right side of her neck.

The operation was performed by a consultant surgeon, however no warning was given to her about the risks attached to the surgery before the operation took place. Afterwards she experienced daily pain in her back and shoulder region, limited movement in her right arm and she had difficulty gripping, due to areas of numbness and tingling.

It was later found that there had been an accessory nerve injury to the shoulder a neurosurgeon later confirmed damage to her right accessory nerve.

Bringing a claim

The claimant brought an action against the defendant alleging that it was negligent in failing to:

  1. provide her with advanced warning that damage to the accessory nerve was a possible complication of the surgery;
  2. exercise adequate care to protect the accessory nerve during the operation, resulting in surgical division of the nerve;
  3. recognise afterwards that the accessory nerve had been damaged; and
  4. provide a reasonable standard of care for the claimant.

The claimant was left with an obvious scar in her neck from the nerve graft procedure. She was unable to care for her family or manage her own personal care. In addition, she was unable to carry out household chores or drive. Furthermore, the claimant’s employment prospects and earning capacity were significantly reduced as a result of her injury.

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