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Brain Injury Stroke - causing damage to the right frontal lobe, marked change in personality, behaviour and cognitive abilities

Defendants - Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust

Liability/responsibility admitted for the injury - with damages to be assessed when the future medical condition can  be fully assessed.

The client, an 11-year-old girl, needed her pacemaker replaced.  During the procedure, unfortunately the ventricular lead was incorrectly placed in the left ventricle through the patent foramen ovale.  Following discharge from hospital, she developed headaches and flashing lights and various symptoms attributed to migraine.  It was subsequently discovered that the lead had passed into the left ventricle, causing clots which passed up into her brain causing stroke and damage to her brain as a result. 

As well as marked changes in her personality, behaviour and cognitive abilities, she has poor attention, memory and disinhibited behaviour.

Allegations against the Hospital

  • There was a failure to check and find the incorrectly placed lead in the left ventricle during or shortly after the replacement of the pacemaker, so permitting clots to form on the lead which passed up into the brain.
  • Failure to investigate her symptoms after the procedure which could have lead to earlier diagnosis and prevented the injury.

The Result

Investigations were carried out and it was necessary to obtain reports from six different disciplines for this purpose.  Details of the claim and allegations were served on the Defendants. After investigations and other steps had been taken, a full admission of liability and causation were made to enable Judgement to be entered.

A large interim payment has been made to fund appropriate care and rehabilitation.

The case will remain open until she is of an age when her lifelong needs can be properly assessed.