Medical Negligence News

Claim for an Emotional Trauma caused by a Consultant Surgeon´s Mistake Settled

Posted on: December 10th, 2015 by Medical Negligence

A woman´s claim for an emotional trauma caused by a consultant surgeon´s mistake has been settled for an undisclosed five-figure amount.

Sixty-six year old Sylvia Ramsay underwent a thyroid operation at the Spire Roding private hospital in Essex in 2010. Prior to the operation, Sylvia informed consultant surgeon Dr Akineye Ojo that she had a life-long phobia of medical instruments and a fear of medical equipment being left inside of her.

Having heard that the thyroidectomy could be conducted with dissolvable stitches, Sylvia requested that the stitches were used during the procedure rather than the metal clips which are more frequently used. As far as she was aware, Dr Ojo consented to her wishes.

When Sylvia regained consciousness after the thyroid operation, she was initially unaware that Dr Ojo had in fact used metal clips during the thyroidectomy. It was only one year later, when a specialist was investigating the cause of Sylvia´s breathing difficulties, that an x-ray exposed the presence of twenty-five metal clips in Sylvia´s throat.

The discovery of the medical equipment inside of her had a severe psychological effect on Sylvia. She described her emotional state being the same as the panic after experiencing a near miss in a car accident – only that her feeling of panic remained with her.

Sylvia sought medical help to help her cope with the emotional trauma, and was nearly sectioned under the Mental Health Act by her GP. It was only after a significant amount of therapy that Sylvia reached the stage where she could undergo another procedure to have the metal clips removed in 2013.

After seeking legal advice, Sylvia made a claim for an emotional trauma caused by a consultant surgeon´s mistake against Dr Ojo. The consultant surgeon denied medical negligence and said that he had not used the dissolvable stitches as Sylvia had requested due to a misunderstanding.

Sylvia´s solicitors pursued the claim for an emotional trauma caused by a consultant surgeon´s mistake and Dr Ojo eventually agreed to an out-of-court settlement without an admission of liability. How much compensation for her emotional trauma Sylvia received has not been disclosed, but is believed to be in five figures.

After her claim for an emotional trauma caused by a consultant surgeon´s mistake had been resolved, Sylvia told her local paper: “I know this is not a rational reaction but it is not something I can control. It´s like putting an arachnophobe into a room full of spiders and telling them not to be so silly.”