Pryers was able to help restore justice after the removal of a ureteric stent led to our client, Jasmine, being hospitalised with sepsis.
Jasmine was diagnosed with kidney stones in 2013 and was referred to the hospital by her GP. Kidney stones develop when a solid piece of material develops in the urinary tract. The hospital decided she required a ureteric stent, which was inserted a few days later. A ureteric stent is a small, hollow tube which is put inside the ureter (the tube that drains urine from your kidney to your bladder). When there is a blockage of the ureter, a stent allows urine to drain normally.
In the months following the insertion of the stent, Jasmine attended her GP with numerous urine infections, and was prescribed antibiotics.
She was scheduled to have the stent removed four months later, however this did not go ahead, and Jasmine was not called for removal for a further three months. Stent removal is usually performed under local anaesthetic, using a small telescope, and forceps.
Unfortunately, during surgery to remove the stent, it was discovered that the stent was extensively encrusted. Encrustation is one of the most difficult complications of ureteric stents and its management is a complex clinical scenario for the treating surgeon. The combination of several surgical techniques is often necessary. Complications of an untreated encrusted stent can include infection, impaired renal function, stone formation and multiple fragmentation of the stent.
As a result, Jasmine was referred for and underwent Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) to break down the encrustation. This procedure uses high-energy shock waves to break down a blockage into small crystals so that they can pass out of the body in the urine. Jasmine was then scheduled for stent removal, and laser stone fragmentation.
At the time of her admission, a pre-surgery urine test grew pseudomonas, a common bacterium that can lead to serious life-threatening infections such as sepsis and pneumonia. Despite this, she was not prescribed any antibiotics, and the matter was not discussed with microbiology. Consequently, following stent removal, Jasmine developed sepsis, and remained in hospital for some time.
Once discharged Jasmine continued to suffer pain in her side and problems with urinary frequency and incontinence.
Pryers was able to instruct an expert urologist who confirmed that there was a seven-month delay in removing the stent. The expert concluded that Jasmine should have received definitive treatment within six weeks of the stent insertion, and that the delay in removing it caused numerous infections, and the stent to become encrusted. He was also critical of the pre-operative urine tests and the fact that no antibiotics were given prior to surgery, which increased the risk of suffering sepsis.
Jasmine was happy to accept an offer of £27,000 from the defendant.