This medical negligence claim involved a 9 year old girl who attended her local hospital with a recent history of frequent vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever. She was examined at the emergency department and a preliminary diagnosis of gastroenteritis was made. The doctor suggested she go home, take Panadol and maintain her fluids. Her grandmother however was concerned that it was more serious than gastroenteritis and insisted on her being admitted overnight which then did occur.
The following day however she was discharged home. By this time her diarrhoea was green in colour and she had an elevated temperature.
Three days later, by which time she was much worse, she was readmitted to hospital. This time her symptoms were investigated more thoroughly and it was found that her appendix had ruptured.
She required emergency surgery followed by a period in the High Dependency Unit and transfer to a larger hospital.
Over the next couple of months our client spent over 40 nights in hospital.
She was extremely traumatised by her ordeal, given her young age. She suffered from nightmares and was left with abdominal scarring which she was extremely self-conscious and embarrassed about.
We obtained an opinion from an independent surgeon who advised that the possibility of appendicitis should have been considered and investigated when she first attended the hospital. Our expert was also critical of the way in which the emergency surgery was performed.
An additional issue was the potential that the extensive damage caused by her ruptured appendicitis and two large pelvic abscesses could affect her fertility in future.
We therefore obtained an expert opinion from a fertility specialist to ensure that any compensation which our client received included damages for the possibility that she would require IVF treatment to conceive in future.
Given our client’s age, there was no claim for loss of income. The majority of the claim was for non-economic loss and the cost of future medical treatment.
With the expert evidence referred to above, and detailed supporting evidence about the impact of the above events on our client, we were able to resolve the claim for $200,000.00.
If you believe you have been misdiagnosed and suffered as a result of this, contact Lindbloms Lawyers and speak to a medical negligence expert.