Amy-Beth Probert in Geldards’ Clinical Negligence team recently secured a settlement of £30,000 on behalf of a client who had a delayed diagnosis of bilateral cholesteatoma which resulted in increased hearing loss, loss of taste and more complicated surgery.
Bilateral cholesteatoma is an abnormal collection of skin cells deep inside the ear which, if left untreated, can damage the structure of the ear which can result in hearing loss and loss of taste. If diagnosed early from a CT scan, bilateral cholesteatoma may be treated by removing the cholesteatoma through surgery under general anaesthetic. Whilst there is a small risk associated with having anaesthetic, the surgery is usually straight forward and does not result in further complications.
In April 2015 our client reported a number of symptoms to her GP which indicated reasonable grounds for concern in relation to bilateral conductive hearing loss and she was referred to an ENT specialist. Our client met with a Consultant ENT Surgeon in April 2015 and was informed that her symptoms were related to eustachian tube problems, for which she was prescribed a nasal spray and recommended a follow up appointment in a year’s time.
Our client continued to experience on-going symptoms and no follow-up appointment was received. Our client returned to her GP who made a second referral to the ENT Department. She attended a further appointment with an ENT specialist in December 2016 and a CT scan was requested. Following a further delay in conducting the CT scan, between January 2017 and April 2017, our client sought a second opinion from a private consultant. The private consultant undertook a CT scan in April 2017 which revealed that our client was suffering from bilateral cholesteatoma.
As a result of the delayed diagnosis, our client suffered loss of taste and impaired hearing and ultimately the surgeries that became necessary were more complicated, extensive and lengthy.
The Trust disputed liability and the expert opinion of Mr Robinson, Consultant Otolaryngologist was sought. Mr Robinson advised that had our client not experienced the delay, the damage to her middle ear structures would have been less, and the subsequent impact on her hearing/taste would have been less severe.
Despite the Trust’s reluctance to admit liability, an agreed settlement was reached at 30,000, with costs to be established.
If you have any questions about the above case study or would like to speak with a clinical negligence specialist solicitor, call us for a free consultation on 02920 391773 or contact Amy-Beth Probert by email.
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