Annabelle sought help from Pryers after a delayed diagnosis of appendicitis led to intensive care and an extended absence from work.
Annabelle was admitted to her local hospital suffering from abdominal pain and tenderness on the right side of her abdomen. After an initial review, doctors suspected either pelvic inflammatory disease, gynaecological pathology, or appendicitis. As a result, Annabelle was commenced on antibiotics. Doctors noted that Annabelle’s C-reactive Protein (CRP) was 150. The CRP test is used to detect inflammation, as CRP is a protein made by the liver and released into the blood within a few hours of tissue injury, or at the start of an infection. A CT scan was recommended to consider appendicitis; however, this never took place.
The next day, doctors noted that Annabelle’s CRP had risen to 264. Subsequently, she was reviewed by a gynaecologist, who arranged a TV ultrasound. Unfortunately, this did not take place until the day after. The sonographer who performed the ultrasound noted that it was difficult to see due to a large amount of bowel gas and free fluid in the pelvis.
One day later, Annabelle was reviewed by another consultant, who noted that the CT scan had not been carried out and arranged for this to take place the following day. The CT scan was carried out, and Annabelle was diagnosed with appendicitis. She underwent surgery later that day. The surgery was initially laparoscopic; however, the appendix was found to have ruptured and surgeons had to perform an open appendectomy. Thankfully, the appendix rupture has formed a sort of cyst which contained the infection, preventing widespread peritonitis.
Following the surgery, Annabelle was required to spend two days in intensive care and was finally discharged from hospital 11 days after her initial contact. She suffered an exacerbation of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for several months afterwards and was not able to return to work for a further four months.
Pryers was able to obtain a report from an expert who was critical of the failure to carry out the CT scan. The expert stated that if the CT scan had been carried out when Annabelle was initially admitted to hospital, the appendicitis would have been diagnosed and she would have undergone surgery that day. If surgery had been carried out at that time, her appendix would not have ruptured and could have been removed by laparoscopic surgery. She would have had a less complicated and shorter recovery, avoided intensive care treatment and would not have suffered an exacerbation of IBS.
The hospital responded with a full admission and apology, and Annabelle was happy to accept an offer of £15,000.