Ruptured spleen, failure to diagnose
Defendants: Northwick Park Hospital NHS Trust
The client was a 65 year old man who had a blow to his abdomen and suffered severe pain as a result. So he went to the casualty department of his local hospital. He was examined and sent home despite his severe ongoing pain. He attended a second time and again was sent home.
He then collapsed at home about 12 hours later and was admitted as an emergency by ambulance. He was diagnosed with a ruptured spleen and had to have extensive abdominal surgery as a result of the delay.
He had a spell in ITU and was left with some disability and weakness down one side of his body from a clot suffered during his prolonged stay in hospital.
- The ruptured spleen should have been diagnosed and dealt with about 18 hours earlier.
- He was sent home on 2 occasions when he should have been admitted and operated on.
- He underwent unnecessary surgery as a result of the failure and was left with considerable disability as a result.
A claim was made. Court proceedings were issued and served. The case was listed for trial. The defendants made offers and term of settlement were eventually agreed. The client received damages of £500,000.