Annabelle sought help from Pryers after a delay in diagnosing appendicitis led to intensive care and an extended absence from work.
A Missed Opportunity
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 given antibiotics.
Doctors recognised that Annabelle’s C-reactive Protein (CRP) level was 150. The CRP test detects inflammation. A CT scan was also recommended, to consider appendicitis, but this never took place.
The Delay in Diagnosing Appendicitis
The next day, doctors noticed that Annabelle’s CRP had risen to 264.
A gynaecologist assessed her arranged a transvaginal ultrasound. Unfortunately, this did not take place until the day after. The sonographer who performed the ultrasound said 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. They noticed that the CT scan had not been done, so arranged for this to take place the following day. The results of the CT scan led to Annabelle being diagnosed with appendicitis.
Surgery to Remove the Appendix
She underwent surgery later that day. The surgery was initially laparoscopic; but, the appendix was found to have ruptured, so 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 had to spend two days in intensive care. She was finally discharged from hospital 11 days after her first attendance.
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.
Apology and Compensation
Pryers was able to obtain a report from an expert who was critical of the failure to carry out the CT scan sooner.
The expert said that if the CT scan had been carried out when Annabelle was initially admitted to hospital, she would have been diagnosed with appendicitis and 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. Resulting in a less complicated and shorter recovery; avoiding intensive care and an exacerbation of IBS.
The hospital responded with a full admission and apology. Annabelle was happy to accept an offer of £15,000 in compensation.