Medical Negligence Prolongs Kidney Stone Agony
The Law Of… Delaying Follow-up Treatment
What should have been a routine procedure for kidney stones turned into an agonising case of medical negligence for one client. Paisley Laws, a Medical Negligence Paralegal at Simpson Millar, explains how a delayed post-op review led to painful complications and the pursuit of justice.
Kidney Stone Misery
For a number of months, Wa Monga Mikombe, the claimant in this case, had been suffering from pain in the right-hand regions of his abdomen and loin. Following a consultation with his GP, Mr Mikombe was referred to the Urology Department at North Manchester General Hospital, where a CT scan of his urinary tract revealed a 9mm kidney stone.
He was placed on a waiting list for corrective surgery: a flexible ureteroscopy and stone laser fragmentation with stent insertion. Two months later, Mr Mikombe underwent the treatment.
It was the intention of the hospital for the client to return as an outpatient for a follow-up in 4 weeks' time. The appointment would have seen him X-rayed and, dependent upon the success of the procedure, the stent removed.
Unfortunately for Mr Mikombe, things did not go to plan.
Delayed Follow-up Appointment
Instead of the intended 4 weeks after the initial procedure, the appointment was scheduled for 5 months later. It was to be an appointment he wouldn't make.
A month prior to the planned date, Mr Mikombe was admitted to Accident & Emergency with severe pains. He had been suffering renal and bladder pain, along with strangury – a condition that obstructs the bladder and causes acute pain and an overpowering desire to urinate. These symptoms were all related to the stent, necessitating its prompt removal.
Two weeks later he was admitted to hospital again, this time with further abdominal pains and urosepsis, a form of the life-threatening condition localised to the urinary tract. It was revealed he had an enflamed kidney, the result of a retained stone present in that organ and further surgery was needed to remedy it. Mr Mikombe went on to make a full recovery.
Allegations And Causation
Simpson Millar took on Mr Mikombe's case and a Letter of Claim was sent off to the hospital trust responsible for his treatment.
The allegations of negligence made against Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust included:
- Failure to arrange a follow up appointment within 4 weeks of the initial procedure as planned
- Providing an inadequate appointment 5 months from the date of the initial procedure.
It was argued that the failure to review Mr Mikombe's surgery within the expected time caused:
- The stent to be retained within the body for long than necessary; which in turn led to
- Stent encrustation resulting in hydronephrosis, which required emergency drainage and a second stent insertion to rectify
- Further emergency admissions to hospital and endoscopic combined surgery.
The hospital trust responded to the Letter of Claim admitting their negligence in failing to arrange the follow up review within the intended timeframe. They denied that this had caused the eventual need for surgery, claiming that renal obstruction and urosepsis would have developed anyway, requiring emergency treatment.
An offer of £1,000 was made to settle the claim.
Mr Mikombe was advised by Simpson Millar to reject such a low settlement and having done so, a second offer of £4,000 was made. Once again, this was rejected.
Further negotiations took place between Simpson Millar and the representatives of the trust and the case was finally settled for £6,750.
Commenting on his successful claim, Mr Mikombe said:
"I would like to thank Simpson Millar for both the result and the service I received, in particular Penny Stead and Paisley Laws for their kind attention while dealing with my claim. It has been very much appreciated. If I require the services of a solicitor for any reason in the future, I shall use Simpson Millar again."
If you have suffered injury or ongoing complications as a result of clinical error, contact one of our Medical Negligence team today.