Medical Negligence News

Man Awarded Compensation for Wrong Site Brain Surgery

Posted on: August 3rd, 2012 by Medical Negligence

A man who had healthy tissue removed from his brain instead of a potential tumour has been awarded an undisclosed settlement of compensation for wrong site brain surgery.

In April 2008, John Tunney (63) from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands underwent brain surgery at the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, after an MRI scan had detected abnormalities around his pituitary gland.

However, instead of taking a biopsy of the abnormal growth, surgeons removed healthy brain tissue which resulted in a brain haemorrhage. As a result of his surgeons´ negligence, John is partly blind and needs 24 hour care.

John learned later that the surgery had not even been necessary, as doctors had failed to examine the results of a blood test that showed the abnormality on John´s brain was a prolactinoma – a common pituitary tumour which is benign and can be treated with medication.

After seeking legal advice, John made a claim for compensation for wrong site brain surgery and medical negligence against the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and, after an investigation into how the two errors occurred, the NHS Trust admitted liability.

After an evaluation into the care and support that John will need for the rest of his life, an undisclosed seven-figure settlement of compensation for wrong site brain surgery was agreed. It is also likely that the surgeon who negligently performed the wrong site brain surgery will be reported to the General Medical Council.

Richard Kennedy, Chief Medical Officer for the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, said: “I very much regret the tragic outcome for Mr Tunney and his family, and on behalf of the trust would like to apologise for this. While no amount of money will turn back the clock for him and his family, the settlement will hopefully provide him with financial security to pay for the lifetime of care that he will now need.”

John´s wife, Pamela, told the press: “John’s brain injury has had devastating effects on him. Prior to the surgery, he was a very easygoing person who was always active and on the go. To see the change in him and to know that it was all entirely avoidable is extremely upsetting”.