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Diagnosis Failure Or Delay
Compensation For Perforated Duodenal Ulcer

£250,000 Settlement For Perforated Duodenal Ulcer

Wendy developed an excruciating pain in her abdomen but was told by a junior doctor that she had period pains. Just 24 hours later she suffered near-fatal complications because of a perforated duodenal ulcer.

Wendy had always suffered from bad period pains, so when she started to feel strong pains in her stomach, she assumed it was because of her menstrual cycle. However, within hours the pain was absolutely excruciating, so much so that she knew there must be another problem at play.

Her boyfriend called an ambulance and she was taken to the nearest A&E department. She was crying and screaming in pain, was dizzy and unbalanced, and had vomited twice. She was seen by a junior doctor who did not perform any type of examination. He simply told Wendy that she probably had endometriosis and needed to be referred to a gynaecologist.

Wendy was discharged from hospital without any treatment. She made it home about midday but could not lie down as it made her vomit. She therefore sat in a chair for the rest of the day and night. The following morning her daughter rang the GP surgery and Wendy was prescribed Tramadol for the pain. This did not have any effect on her pain levels.

By now Wendy felt extremely unwell. When she went to the toilet her urine was reddish brown colour and she had started to hallucinate. Her stomach was swollen and intensely painful. She fell unconscious, and her sister called an ambulance.

Upon admission to hospital, Wendy was close to death. She had renal failure and severe septicaemia. She was given strong antibiotics to bring the infection down, after which she was taken to theatre. It was discovered that she had a duodenal ulcer that had perforated. Her stomach had to be washed out and three litres of pus removed.

Wendy spent nine weeks in hospital and required a further six surgical operations. For the first five weeks she was unconscious and on a life support machine. This was of course highly traumatic for her two daughters who did not know if she would live.

Although she did thankfully survive, her life has been irrevocably damaged because of the perforated duodenal ulcer. She required reconstructive surgery on her abdomen, has developed critical care polyneuropathy due to being unconscious for so long, has memory problems and continues to be in pain.

Alongside these physical injuries, Wendy has suffered a great deal of emotional trauma. She has become very depressed and has flashbacks of her illness. Her children have become very insecure as they are fearful of losing her and the whole family has needed counselling for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Wendy is now unable to work, something which upsets her further. Before her illness she was a fit and active person who enjoyed being busy. Now she is clumsy and has frequent memory lapses. This has knocked her confidence and she has become very reclusive as a result.

All of these complications could have been avoided had the junior doctor examined Wendy when she first attended A&E. This would have meant the duodenal ulcer was diagnosed and treated before it perforated. In discharging Wendy with a diagnosis of period pains, he caused a delay in treatment, something which nearly cost Wendy her life.

We helped Wendy make a claim for the terrible damage this medical error caused her and her family. She was awarded over £200,000 compensation.

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

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"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

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