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Compensation obtained for knee replacement surgery which resulted in cardiac arrest

Background to the claim

On 11 October 2017 Mrs S, aged 64, underwent right knee replacement. A tourniquet was placed around the leg to reduce bleeding during surgery. This did not inflate and there was significant bleeding. Diathermy was used but bleeding continued so the surgeon used hydrogen peroxide. This caused Mrs S to fit and suffer cardiac arrest. She was intubated. Hospital staff advised her family that chance of survival was low. She spent two weeks in hospital in an unconscious state before being allowed home.

Impact of the negligence

Mrs S made a good recovery from an orthopaedic perspective but has been left with other problems. She required significant care and support when she first returned from hospital. She takes antidepressants and suffers regular flashbacks about what happened. Her memory is not as good as it used to be, and she often forgets things. She has also been left with a shadow on her eye which affects her vision. This was the result of a pre-retinal sub-hyaloid haemorrhage caused by the cardiac arrest. This condition is untreatable. She has also been diagnosed with PTSD which she would not have developed but for the cardiac arrest. This results in her suffering anxiety, tearfulness, disturbed sleep and low mood.

Clarke Willmott’s involvement

We obtained supportive evidence in relation to breach of duty and causation from an orthopaedic expert. A Letter of Claim was sent to the Defendant and the Defendant made early admissions confirming the hydrogen peroxide should not have been used, and that but for the use of that, Mrs S would not have sustained the injuries she did.

We obtained quantum reports from an ophthalmologist, and a psychiatric expert. A schedule of loss was produced and settlement was reached in the sum of £60,000. The compensation will allow Mrs S to move on with her life and to pay for some private treatment to treat the PTSD.

The case was conducted on a no win no fee basis.

Contact a medical negligence lawyer

If you need legal advice about making a compensation claim, call us now on 0800 316 8892 or contact us online.


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