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Failed Vasectomy/Sterilisation

Bowel Injured During Sterilisation

Carlotta's bowel was injured during a sterilisation but the damage was not diagnosed and repaired.

After being referred to a gynaecologist with heavy periods and endometriosis, Carlotta decided to have a sterilisation.

The operation was carried out on a private basis. When she awoke she was in considerable pain. She was continually given large doses of painkillers and was discharged two days later, without having been reviewed by the surgeon.

Upon stopping the painkillers, Carlotta found the pain in her tummy to be agonising. Her abdomen was very bloated and she rang the hospital for advice. She was told that everything was normal and to continue taking the medication.

Carlotta's condition deteriorated over the next couple of days and her husband rang an ambulance. She was admitted with a suspected bowel perforation and should have been sent straight to theatre. Unfortunately, however, the emergency laparotomy was delayed, during which time Carlotta became increasingly unwell with peritonitis and systemic sepsis.

When the emergency operation was finally carried out, the surgeon discovered a hole in her small intestine which had been sustained during the sterilisation procedure. He repaired the injury and drained four litres of fluid from her abdomen. The surgical wound was then sutured together, comprising of 24 staple stitches running from her belly button down to the pubic bone.

Carlotta remained in hospital for another two months as her recovery was blighted by additional complications. She had pockets of fluid across her body which required draining, her surgical wound became infected and she was suspected of having a DVT. She also developed a lung infection, meaning she required another operation and two blood transfusions.

The wound took a long time to heal and Carlotta had to be fitted with a VAC pump to speed the process up. She has been left with extensive scarring across her tummy and has suffered significant hair loss. She found the entire stay thoroughly traumatic and at times felt like she would never recover.

Because of her ill health, Carlotta had to take the tough decision to sell her own business. However, she has found it hard to secure employment ever since, resulting in serious financial difficulties.

Her 10 week stay in hospital had a detrimental impact upon all members of Carlotta's family.

Feeling upset about the injuries she endured, Carlotta called us to discuss whether or not she had been the victim of medical error. We advised that the hospital was negligent in delaying an emergency laparotomy, when she obviously had symptoms indicative of a perforated bowel.

Had Carlotta been assessed and treated more quickly following her admission to hospital, she would have had a shorter stay in hospital and made a significantly faster recovery. We helped her pursue a claim against the hospital at fault. She was awarded over £50,000 compensation.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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