Compensation following misdiagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome
Mr B –v- Dr O’D
We were instructed on behalf of Mr B in a claim against his former retired GP.
Mr B developed faecal urgency and frequency (suffering loose stools and up to four motions every morning). His GP diagnosed him as suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and prescribed Loperamide (an anti-diarrhoeal drug).
Mr B’s symptoms continued to worsen and he attended his GP on many occasions over the years, complaining of increased frequency of bowel motions were affecting his quality of life. He was employed as a long distance lorry driver and was struggling to work around his symptoms. On each occasion, the GP prescribed further Loperamide and did not refer Mr B to hospital for tests.
The Defendant GP eventually retired and Mr B saw a different doctor at the practice. He had been treated by Dr O’D for the previous eight years and repeatedly been reassured that he merely had IBS and to keep taking tablets.
The new doctor immediately referred Mr B to hospital to undergo a colonoscopy in April 2010. The results revealed that Mr B had been suffering from ulcerative colitis. By this time, the inflammation was affecting a substantial part of his colon. He was immediately started on the correct medication (including Prednisilone) and noticed an instantaneous improvement in his symptoms. His condition went into remission after only a couple of months.
A successful medical negligence claim was brought against Dr O’D and Mr B recovered £25,000 damages in respect of eight years of avoidable, unpleasant bowel symptoms which would otherwise have been avoided.