Delayed diagnosis of Crohn’s disease resulted in permanent ileostomy

Summary

This was a case of a young woman who had acute presentation of severe Crohn’s disease which was not diagnosed definitively until her late re-representation with life-threatening complications. The delay in diagnosis led to the development of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, a colonoscopy and the client suffering from a permanent ileostomy.

Settlement

The claim settled for £80,000 during mediation

What Happened

Our client started to notice a general lack of energy, loss of colour and that I was starting to lose weight.

She passed out at work and attended the Accident and Emergency Department. She was not properly examined and told that she probably had an iron deficiency and to go and see her GP.

She continued to suffer from abdominal pain and was being sick. She lost 14kg of weight and went back to the Accident and Emergency Department. She was admitted for tests.

Initially the doctors appeared to be unsure what was wrong before suggesting Crohn’s Disease.

She was discharged with the wrong advice and medication and subsequently had to be rushed to Accident and Emergency.

The client then passed out before waking up after undergoing emergency surgery with a colostomy bag attached to her and a large incision in her stomach.

Our client was in hospital for about 7 weeks before being allowed home where she required regular care and assistance from her husband.

A subsequent attempt to have her colostomy bag removed was unsuccessful.

Had our client been examined, diagnosed and treated appropriately, she would have avoided the emergency admissions to hospital, perforation and faecal peritonitis, the emergency surgery, permanent ileostomy, the greater risk of sepsis and multi-organ failure.

Had there been surgery prior to perforation of the mass, then she would have had resection of the transverse colon and possibly a small part of the stomach. The risk of sepsis and the need for a colostomy would have been significantly reduced. It is likely that our client would have been discharged from hospital after just 10 days post-operative care.

As a result of the Defendant’s negligence, our client was left with a permanent ileostomy which gives her considerable skin irritation and requires daily care. She had a relatively normal diet. However, she has to restrict herself from eating too much fibre in order to prevent an ileostomy of high output.

Our client suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder.

The ileostomy also affected the Claimant’s marital life.

Devonshires were able to get answers from the hospital as to what had gone wrong and assist the client with recovering her expenses for past and future care. We also obtained compensation for her for the pain and suffering she had endured.

Rather than have the client face the stress of a formal trial at Court, we were able to arrange a mediation with representatives of the hospital trust and agree a settlement that the client was happy with.

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