James underwent surgery to repair a hole in his bladder. The operation was complicated and long, lasting about 8 hours. Unfortunately, he was placed in what is called the “lithotomy position”, that is with his legs raised in the air, for the whole of the operation. Due to lack of blood to his lower legs and feet, James developed a condition known as compartment syndrome, causing extensive nerve damage, mainly to his right leg. Despite several operations, James was left unable to flex his ankle, his leg is very weak, and he has burning chronic pain from the knee down. He has to use specialist footwear and can only walk short distances with the aid of a stick. James was 46 years old at the time of his surgery.
James instructed Pryers Solicitors to investigate a medical negligence claim.
The medical records showed that almost nothing had been done, during surgery, to check and maintain proper bloodflow to James’ feet. Compartment syndrome is a known risk of very long operations and anaesthetists have a variety of techniques available to prevent it occurring. None of these were used.
The NHS Trust admitted negligence and, after a detailed investigation into the extent of James’ injuries; his likely future progress; and the equipment and assistance he would need in the future; the claim was settled for £625,000.
James’ solicitor, Rob Maughan or Pryers, said “James suffered life-changing injuries as a result of the nerve and soft tissue damage to his lower left leg. They were injuries that neither he nor his family would have ever envisaged following a bladder repair. Nevertheless, he has shown tremendous resilience and is now getting on with his life, with the help of the compensation award he received.”