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Diagnosis Failure Or Delay
Compensation for Ruptured Appendix

Compensation for Ruptured Appendix

After being repeatedly told he had severe constipation, Zac was finally rushed to hospital where he was diagnosed with a ruptured appendix.

In 2010, Zac began to suffer from pain in his abdominal region. By the following day it had become much worse, so he decided to attend an NHS walk-in centre.

At the walk-in centre he was seen by a nurse who asked for a urine sample, the results of which showed no abnormalities. She also pressed on his stomach but concluded that she could find nothing wrong.

By the next day, Zac was in extreme agony and had been unable to eat or sleep. He visited his GP surgery. No doctors were available, so he was seen by a nurse. Again he provided a urine sample and the nurse examined his abdominal region.

The practice nurse was uncertain of a diagnosis, so called a doctor in to examine Zac. He concluded that it was probably constipation and prescribed a laxative. Having been told this, Zac tried to continue with his life as best as possible, but still he could not eat or sleep, such was the pain.

By the following day, he was having difficulty getting out of bed due to his level of discomfort. This time he went to the Accident & Emergency department. The doctors carried out blood and urine tests, a blood pressure check, x-rays and both an abdominal and rectal examination.

Finally, the doctor came to see Zac and told him it was “good news”, as it was not his appendix but just severe constipation. He was prescribed more laxatives and discharged home.

Later that day, Zac experienced two episodes of extreme vomiting. He took the laxative sachets, but they only made him vomit more. The next day he managed to pass a stool, but this did nothing to alleviate his symptoms.

On Sunday, feeling like he was going to collapse, Zac contacted his father who immediately drove him to a different A&E department.

After a three hour wait, Zac was seen by a doctor who performed more tests and an examination. He said that Zac almost certainly had appendicitis and an x-ray must be carried out to confirm whether it had ruptured.

After the x-ray, Zac was taken straight into theatre as his appendix had indeed ruptured. When he came round from the anaesthetic, the surgeon told him that it was the worst rupture she had ever seen.

Zac remained in hospital for another 10 days, having caught an infection that slowed his recovery. Consequently Zac suffered from extreme stress which did not help his recovery period. He lost two stone while in hospital and was unable to exercise for four months. This resulted in a loss of confidence, further slowing his recovery.

The complications Zac experienced because of his ruptured appendix could have been avoided, had his appendicitis been diagnosed earlier. The nurse at the walk-in centre, the GP and the first hospital he attended all failed to make a diagnosis, resulting in a delay in treatment.

We helped Zac pursue a claim for the substandard level of medical care he received. He was awarded in excess of £20,000 compensation.

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

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