£85,000 for failures in care during and after hip surgery

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Posted 27/05/2016 By: Julie Crossley

Julie Crossley, a medical injury specialist at Ashtons, has obtained an £85,000 settlement for Mr X, whose post-operative care was inadequate, leaving him needing further surgery.

Mr X underwent hip replacement surgery in a private hospital but under a Government initiative under the NHS. Less than two weeks later he went to Accident & Emergency with a suspected infection and was then prescribed antibiotics and referred to the orthopaedic team. Changed dressings and intravenous antibiotics were followed by a hip debridement and washout.

Minor improvements in his condition were followed by further problems and he was admitted for revision surgery. At this point a piece of surgical glove was found in the wound and, as this was considered the possible source of the problems, the revision was not undertaken. However, Mr X continued to be unwell and did then undergo first stage revision surgery a fortnight later. Different antibiotics followed and Mr X developed an allergic reaction.

A further catalogue of problems followed over the next three months and Mr X was eventually admitted for hip aspiration followed a few weeks later by second stage revision surgery. More problems ensued and Mr X had more than one incidence of hip prosthesis dislocation, in each case needing to undergo manipulation under anaesthetic and then spend six weeks in a brace.

Julie Crossley comments: “It is all too common for there to be more problems with after care than with surgery itself. In this case a succession of errors resulted in Mr X having to undergo extensive further treatment and discomfort, most of which could and should have been avoided. Investing in improving after care would be an effective way to cut costs for the NHS overall by reducing the incidence of both additional surgery and litigation.”


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