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Written on 29th June 2021 by

Boyes Turner’s medical negligence lawyers have secured a £130,000 settlement for the bereaved family of a woman who died from faecal peritonitis after negligent hospital care in relation to the management of a pelvic collection (fluid in the pelvic cavity).

The woman was in her sixties when she was admitted to hospital. She was weak and had been unwell with nausea and vomiting for at least nine days. She remained in hospital for three days and was treated with antibiotics following a diagnosis of urosepsis (sepsis caused by urinary infection).

Just over a month later, she was becoming increasingly unwell and was re-admitted to hospital via A&E. A week later, a CT scan was carried out which revealed a fluid and gas collection in the pelvis and hydronephrosis (urine retention in the kidneys). The hospital’s general surgery team took over her care. A further week later, she underwent an ERCP (to examine her bile duct and pancreas) and insertion of a stent. Two weeks later, another CT scan showed that she still had the pelvic collection and hydronephrosis. A further week later she was discharged with antibiotics. She continued to deteriorate at home.

A month later she was re-admitted via A&E. She had another CT scan and a possible diagnosis was given of biliary sepsis. A month after that, a further ERCP was carried out. She was referred to another hospital for gallstone clearance.

 A CT scan a further month later revealed that she still had the fluid in her abdomen and inflammation from peritonitis.  The next day she underwent open surgery, to form a loop ileostomy and loop colostomy and remove her appendix. During the operation she was found to have more than 1.5 litres of purulent fluid in her abdomen. She was transferred to ICU, where she died from multi-organ failure, sepsis, and a perforated bowel the next day. 

Hospital’s own investigation finds mistakes in care

The hospital’s own investigation found that there had been multiple mistakes in her care. Of greatest significance, they concluded that by the time of the second CT scan, when she had been in hospital for 24 days, instead of discharging her from hospital, they should have operated to drain the collection and carry out a resection of her bowel. If they had done so she would have survived.

Making a claim

We pursued a claim for her family against the hospital. They admitted responsibility for the deceased’s death caused by their negligent management of her pelvic collection.  We were unable to negotiate a settlement of the case initially and so court proceedings were issued. The hospital then agreed to court judgment being entered. Following further negotiations, a settlement was reached in the sum of £130,000, a significant increase on the defendant hospital’s initial offer of £25,000.

If you or someone in your family has been seriously injured by negligent medical care, you can find out more about making a claim by talking to one of our specialist solicitors, free and in confidence, by contacting us here mednegclaims@boyesturner.com.