GF v AB
The Plaintiff was referred by his General Practitioner to a Consultant General Surgeon for the purposes of undergoing an endoscopy/gastroscopy in 2010. This was performed at a local private hospital and during the course of the procedure, a lesion was noted in the second part of the duodenum and biopsied. The Plaintiff made a satisfactory recovery from the sedation and was discharged that day to the care of his wife. The Plaintiff’s wife telephoned the hospital approximately an hour after his discharge indicating that he was suffering from severe pain radiating across his back. The surgeon made arrangements to meet with the Plaintiff and his wife at the Emergency Department of the local general hospital. The Plaintiff was admitted with a diagnosis of possible iatrogenic pancreatitis and transferred to the High Dependency Unit of the hospital. A CT scan demonstrated an acutely inflamed pancreas which was thought to be secondary to the biopsy performed during the endoscopy. The Plaintiff was quite unwell and remained in hospital for a further 19 days until his ultimate discharge.
The Plaintiff continued to attend for out-patient appointments until his care was transferred to a specialist gastroenterologist. The Plaintiff underwent a number of stenting procedures of his pancreatic duct at ERCP and developed a number of pancreatic pseudo-cysts. The Plaintiff was required to take early retirement from his employment on medical grounds and remains under the care of his gastroenterologist and is on medication for his condition which he will be required to continue on for the rest of his life.
The Plaintiff contacted Augustus Cullen Law to investigate the circumstances surrounding the endoscopy procedure. Expert surgical opinion was obtained from a Professor of Surgery at one of the main teaching hospitals in London which criticised the decision of the Defendant to use a significant degree of diathermy to perform the biopsy, as this decision carried with it a high risk of causing local inflammation and swelling, resulting in occlusion of the ampulla of vater, and a subsequent risk of pancreatitis, obstructive jaundice and subsequent scarring and stenosis.
Liability was denied by the Defendant and the case was listed for hearing. A settlement meeting was arranged a few weeks prior to the case being scheduled to start and a payment of damages in the sum of €380,000 and costs was agreed without an admission of liability on the part of the Defendant.
Contact: Jamie Hart, Partner
Michael Boylan, Managing Partner
18 December 2014