What Does Causation Mean?
Causation is a term you may hear during a medical negligence claim. It’s when a patient’s health problems can be linked to substandard medical treatment.
Our client “The Claimant” underwent an elective procedure to have polyps removed from his bowel, but his bowel was perforated during the surgery. After waking from the anaesthetic, the Claimant was in extreme pain and had a visibly swollen abdomen.
He was transferred to another hospital for emergency treatment, and upon arrival he was taken to theatre where part of his bowel had to be removed.
The Claimant had a colostomy and a pouch (to collect bodily waste such as stool and urine) and was told this would be reversed once his bowel had healed, to restore his bowel function. Unfortunately, the stoma shrank resulting in the Claimant experiencing pain and difficulty opening his bowels.
This had to be corrected by way of another operation, but the Claimant then developed a large hernia at the stoma site. He required a hernia repair procedure and at the same time, the stoma was reversed, 18 months after the emergency surgery.
Despite having the stoma reversed the Claimant was unable to regain normal bowel function and struggled with incontinence, which had a big impact on his confidence and ability to carry out daily activities. He also developed a second hernia at the same site following surgery, which required further intervention.
He was diagnosed with moderate depression and was told there was a possibility that he might require a permanent stoma in the future.
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