£1,275,000 damages recovered by Geldards following negligent spinal surgery

Our Medical Negligence Senior Associate, Rachel Kirby, secured damages of £1,275,000 on behalf of a client who underwent negligent spinal surgery at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Our client had a history of altered sensation in his feet and legs. In 2016 he was referred by his GP to the Neurology Clinic at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.

In April 2016, our client underwent an MRI scan which demonstrated Congestive Venous Thoracic Myelopathy which was thought to be secondary to an underlying Spinal Dural Arteriovenous Fistula.

A Consultant Neuroradiologist advised that an elective digital subtraction angiography (DSA), which is a method of visualising blood vessels, was required in order to identify the site of the fistula and to assess any associated blood supply to the spinal cord. It was agreed that if the fistula was suitable for embolization (a procedure that would stop blood flow to the fistula), that this would be done at the same time as the DSA.

The procedure took place on 6 July 2016. During the procedure a dural arteriovenous fistula was located and as agreed, our client underwent DAVF glue embolization. However, during the embolization procedure the glue spilled into a short segment of the anterior spinal artery. This resulted in the unintended embolization of the spinal cord artery.

As a result of the negligence, our client suffered profound sensory and motor loss in his legs. He also sustained bilateral ankle clonus and the power in his limbs and his vibration sense were reduced. Our client was in constant pain, had problems with bladder and bowel function as well as the absence of all sexual function.

Whilst our client saw some improvement in motor function following the operation, he was left severely disabled.

We were instructed by our client and served a Letter of Notification on Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust (“the Trust”). In the letter we claimed that the spillage of the glue application was negligent and that this led to our client’s injuries.

The Trust admitted breach of duty and admitted that had the error not occurred, our client would not have suffered his injuries. However, the Trust placed our client to strict proof as to the extent of his injuries.

As such, we instructed a neurologist and urologist to prepare medical reports and set out the extent of our client’s physical injuries. We also instructed a Psychiatrist to set out the extent of our client’s psychological injuries resulting from the negligence.

The Defendant made an initial offer of £350,000 but this was rejected.

In the meantime, we obtained a report from an expert setting out the various adaptations to our client’s home that would be needed as a result of his injuries. We also received a report setting out the amount of care that our client would require in the future.

A mediation meeting was arranged where we were successful in securing damages in the sum of £1,275,00 for our client, together with a Letter of Apology.


Are you worried about medical care/treatment received by you or a family member?

If so, we offer a free initial consultation. Call us on 02920 391773 or contact Linda Williams at linda.williams@geldards.com. Or for more information about how our Medical Negligence team can help you, visit our expertise page.

Like to talk about this Insight?

Get Insights in your inbox

To Top