Boyes Turner’s medical negligence solicitors have secured a settlement of £800,000 for a woman who received inadequate information and treatment after repeated abnormal cervical smear test results revealed CIN3 (pre-cancerous cells). The defendant hospital’s delay in advising her to undergo treatment to completely remove the diseased cells from her cervix resulted in her developing invasive cancer. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy (internal radiation therapy) cancer treatments left her disabled by pain, bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction and psychological symptoms.
Inadequate treatment and lack of informed consent after smear tests show severe dyskaryosis (CIN3)
After previous normal smear tests, our client had a cervical smear which revealed severe dyskaryosis (pre-cancerous changes to the cells in the cervix). She was examined at the defendant hospital’s colposcopy clinic and underwent a large loop excision of transformation zone (LLETZ) to remove the part of the cervix containing the abnormal cells. These were examined and reported as CIN3 with no invasive malignancy.
Our client was seen in the colposcopy clinic after a second LLETZ procedure and two further smear tests over the following year continued to show CIN3/severe dyskaryosis. She was advised to undergo a further LLETZ procedure under anaesthetic. Recognising her anxiety, the specialist noted the importance of giving her the opportunity to complete her treatment. However, he did not discuss the option of hysterectomy, or warn her of the risk that a further LLETZ could allow abnormal cells to become hidden and make it more difficult to detect abnormal cells during smear tests in future.
The third LLETZ procedure revealed widespread CIN3 disease in the cervix and reaching high into the cervical canal and a further smear test showed severe dyskaryosis. Our client was seen by a hospital consultant and was given a choice of treatment by cone biopsy or hysterectomy. In the absence of proper information about the increased risks of this option, which included abnormal cells being less detectable in future or developing into cancer, she accepted the consultant’s advice to have the cone biopsy. After the cone biopsy she was advised that no invasive cancer had been found and that any remaining abnormal cells had probably been destroyed by diathermy during the procedure.
A further colposcopy and two further smear tests were reported as normal, but a third smear test, 18 months after the cone biopsy, revealed severe dyskaryosis. She had a hysterectomy and was found to have grade 3 invasive squamous cell carcinoma. She had further surgery to remove her ovaries and then underwent chemotherapy, pelvic radiotherapy and vaginal vault brachytherapy treatment for cancer. If she had been properly informed about the risks of delaying complete excision by hysterectomy, earlier surgery would have avoided the development of cancer, the need for these treatments and her ongoing pain, disability and psychological symptoms.
Medical negligence claim leads to admission of fault, interim payments and £800,000 settlement
Our client approached us and asked us to help her make a claim after several other firms of solicitors had refused to take on her case. We believed that our client was entitled to compensation and helped her pursue a cancer negligence claim against the defendant hospital. They admitted negligently failing to advise our client to undergo a complete local excision after the results of her third LLETZ procedure, which would have prevented her cancer and the injuries from her chemotherapy/radiotherapy treatments.
We secured a liability (fault) judgment for our client and interim payments totalling £40,000 to ease her financial hardship whilst we prepared the necessary evidence to settle her claim. On our advice, our client rejected an initial offer by the defendant of £75,000. After further negotiations, she accepted a settlement offer of £800,000.
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