Medical Negligence

£250,000 damages for family of grandmother who died after hospital delayed treatment of acute pancreatitis

web pic (24) (1)

Vince Shore

Joint Head of Clinical Negligence (Hull)

3 min read time

A 63-year old grandmother died of multi-organ failure as her acute pancreatitis was not treated effectively.

Despite being diagnosed and discharged at St James Hospital for further review, she was left 54 days before any further examinations were carried out, revealing she had multiple gallbladder stones.

A month later –and  84 days after initially being admitted to hospital – she had to return to hospital as her condition continued to worsen.

By the time she had an operation to remove her gallbladder more than four months had passed since she first went to hospital.

However, during the procedure her blood pressure became very low and a decision was taken to stop.

She passed away soon after.

A Coroner recorded her cause of death as multi-organ failure, infected pancreatic necrosis and gallstone pancreatitis.

The Legal Case

The woman’s family contacted our medical negligence specialists to investigate the care provided.

Having requested medical records and sought independent expert opinion, our specialists alleged there had been a failure to arrange urgent outpatient investigation after the initial admission.

We also alleged there had been an unreasonable delay in obtaining urgent test results of 54 days. These should have been arranged urgently on the patient’s initial discharge.

An unreasonable delay in arranging further action such as the cholecystectomy (to remove her gall bladder) once the diagnosis of gallstone related pancreatitis was confirmed, was also highlighted in our legal claim.

There was an 84 day period between the patient first being discharged from hospital and her readmission with severe acute pancreatitis.

During this time there was an opportunity for effective management of her condition which would have saved her life.

We alleged that had an urgent cholecystectomy been carried out much sooner, this would have prevented the severe acute pancreatitis which caused her death developing and would have been a success.

The Hospital Trust admitted failure to arrange vital tests on discharge from her very first attendance at hospital, and that had they done so, she would have had a cholecystectomy for the pancreatitis and avoided the fatal attack of acute pancreatitis which resulted in her death.

The legal case settled out of court.

Vince Shore, Joint Head of Clinical Negligence, said:

“This was a situation we see all too often whereby a patient has become seriously ill, and indeed lost their life, because the required tests were not carried out with the urgency required.”

“There were clear indications in this case that there was a need for greater urgency given the increasing pain and problems suffered by the patient.”

“In cases such as this, no settlement can lessen the pain and loss for a family, but we were able to secure substantial damages which reflected not only the pre-death pain, suffering and loss of amenity of the patient, but also to reflect the loss of her husband, daughter and granddaughter who depended upon her in many aspects of life.”

Related Advice

Related Advice

Expertise. Trust. Authority

View All
hudgell solicitors medical negligence solicitor samantha darwin

Wrongful Births

The term wrongful birth is used when babies are born with injuries or disabilities which medical professionals should have detected during pregnancy. A failure to inform mothers/parents denies them the opportunity to take a very difficult decision as to whether to continue with the pregnancy. Listen to Samantha Darwin, a senior medical negligence solicitor, explain […]

hudgell solicitors medical negligence solicitor samantha darwin

NHS Investigation Reports

What is an NHS Investigation Report and what can you expect from one? These reports are produced by NHS Trusts following an investigation into a serious incident which occurred during a patient’s medical care. They can highlight lapses in treatment and organisational systems, such as appointments not being sent out. Reports should also identify steps […]

Related News

Related News
View All
hudgell solicitors supports calls for a public inquiry into maternity services

Statutory Inquiry now needed as Birth Trauma report reveals ‘shockingly poor care’ across UK’s maternity services

Hudgell Solicitors has renewed its call for a Statutory Inquiry into the standard of Britain’s maternity services as a new report today highlighted the ‘shockingly poor quality’ across the UK. An All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) inquiry into the birth trauma experiences of hundreds of women found good care for pregnant women to be ‘the exception […]

5 min read time
bta logo concept company news feature image

Hudgell Solicitors welcome Birth Trauma Association for new ‘lived experience’ training

In February this year, Hudgells submitted evidence and shared our clients’ experiences of birth trauma as a first-ever parliamentary inquiry on birth trauma was launched. The inquiry report is expected in May. As part of our continued commitment to supporting families who’ve experienced birth trauma and to enable us to be trauma-informed and better understand […]

2 min read time
Start my claim