Day Surgery Patient Settles Medical Negligence Claim Against ACT Hospital for $195,000

Published 10 Jan 2018

Author: Gerard Malouf

This case involved a 60 year old woman who was admitted to a hospital in the Australian Capital Territory for day surgery. She was required to fast prior to the surgery which often occurs in certain day surgeries. Her surgery was performed between around 2:30pm after arriving at the hospital in the morning. About one and a half hours later, her surgery was completed successfully and she was transferred to a recovery room.

This woman had not been in hospital for some 30 years and was not explained to her the procedures of the hospital including mobilising to attend the bathroom and the location and identification of buzzers was not explained to her. Furthermore, she was suffering from the after events of anaesthetic medication including dizziness, hypertension, unsteadiness and faintness.

To compound her situation whilst remaining in this hospital, she was provided with no food by the nursing staff because the hospital had “run out”.

In the circumstances, she was left alone in her bed and in the early hours of the following morning at 4:20am, she left her bed to transport herself to the bathroom. In the condition she was left in,she became faint and fell over injuring her right shoulder and elbow which necessitated for further surgery to repair her injuries.

Given the rural location, her injuries prevented her from travelling the long distances she required to attend work. Furthermore, the treatment she had received in this hospital had caused her great distress and consequently she contacted Gerard Malouf and Partners where Mr Leslie Abboud, a senior solicitor with over 30 years’ experience in medical negligencetook carriage of her case.

Upon receiving the clinical records, Mr Abboud immediately identified the disinterest the nursing staff had for this woman and providing proper nursing care to her. Consequently he obtained further evidence and immediately briefed an expert nurse to comment upon the care and treatment she had been provided with.

In doing so, Mr Abboud was able to obtain supportive expert evidence in response and consequently briefed an expert Barrister and obtained further evidence of the degree of damage suffered by our client.

Fortunately, without having to incur the costs proceeding to a court hearing, Mr Abboud promptly arranged a mediation and this matter was able to be resolved for almost $200,000.00 in our client’s favour. We hope that this result provides the compensation required to assist in providing comfort to our client in circumstances where she had an ongoing injury and is unable to travel to her work. We hope results like this encourage hospitals to take their patients seriously and to ensure they are kept in a stable condition and in a safe environment.