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A Welsh Health Board has admitted that one of its hip surgeons was negligent in failing to tell his patient of the risks of the device he was going to use.

In a medical negligence claim, Pryers Solicitors alleged that the surgeon used an experimental device with a very limited track record; it was quite different from anything else on the market; was used in very small numbers; and was used by only two surgeons in the UK, both of whom had connections to the manufacturer. If the patient had known this, she would have chosen a different device or would have gone to see another surgeon.

Sadly the device failed early, causing damage to muscle around the joint, requiring further surgery and leaving long-lasting damage.

In legal proceedings, the surgeon’s Health Board admitted that he was negligent in failing to give the patient all the information she reasonably needed in order to make an informed decision about her hip surgery.

Richard Starkie, a partner and head of Pryers Solicitors’ hip replacement team said “Gone are the days when a doctor can make their patients’ decisions for them, keeping them in the dark and determining what risks should be accepted and which should not. Doctors have a duty to tell their patients everything that might be considered relevant or important to the decision-making process. This includes disclosing downsides or uncertainties of a particular treatment, even where it is the surgeons’ preferred option. My client was horrified to discover after the event, that she had been treated as an unwitting test subject”.

Pryers Solicitors has a specialist hip replacement team dealing claims involving faulty implants, poor component positioning, negligent warning of risks, mismanagement of infection, leg length discrepancy, nerve injuries and many other complications of hip replacement and resurfacing. Find out more information here.

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