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Medical Negligence

Kidney Disease Sufferer Gains £85,000 Compensation With Help From Coles Miller Solicitors

Coles Miller Solicitors helped a medical negligence victim claim £85,000 after his kidney disease went undiagnosed for five years. Read more...

Coles Miller Solicitorshave helped a 29-year-old medical negligence victim to claim £85,000 in compensation after his congenital kidney disease went undiagnosed for five years.

In May 2008, the client – then aged 14 – had been referred to hospital by his GP. The doctor was concerned that his patient might have diabetes.

The GP referred the boy to Bedford Hospital for urological investigations. But no other tests were carried out – despite the boy’s young age, urinary symptoms and his medical history (poor foetal growth, premature delivery by Caesarian section at 31 weeks).

The boy should have received a kidney and urinary tract ultrasound scan but it was not done. No further investigations took place.

Five years later in May 2013, the then 19-year-old victim collapsed and was hospitalised with complete kidney failure. He had to be resuscitated, which was extremely shocking for him.  He required immediate dialysis and subsequently underwent a kidney transplant.

The victim took legal action against Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

He claimed that he had the symptoms and blood results of chronic kidney disease when he was seen in May 2008.  This was not recognised and he went uninvestigated, unexamined and untreated until he collapsed, needing dialysis. 

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability from the outset but asked the claimant to prove what injuries he had suffered as a result.

The victim said he had suffered the following injuries and consequences as a result of the trust’s medical negligence:

  • Instead of a managed progression to kidney failure, he effectively ‘crash landed’.
  • For five years he suffered the progressive symptoms of stages 3 (moderate), 4 (severe) and 5 (end stage) chronic kidney disease without treatment.
  • With the correct treatment, his decline into stage 5 would have been delayed by a year.
  • His dialysis period was prolonged; he missed the chance of a pre-emptive kidney transplant.
  • He developed left ventricular hypertrophy (a thickening of the wall in the heart’s main pumping chamber).
  • The delay deprived him of the chance of treating his persisting secondary hyperthyroidism (a condition which accelerates the metabolism, causing a rapid, irregular heartbeat and unintentional weight loss). He currently manages this condition with medication.
  • He suffered from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – against a background of anxiety and depression – for seven years (2015 to 2022).

The victim claimed for:

  • expenses incurred by his family and friends as a result of the extra care and assistance they provided during his prolonged dialysis
  • earnings lost as a qualified chef – the collapse and hospitalisation meant he was unable to embark on his college course.

He accepted a settlement of £85,000.

His No Win No Fee medical negligence claim was handled by Coles Miller Partner Lydia Barnett. Barrister Hamish Dunlop of 3PB also assisted in the claim.

Ms Barnett said: “This was a complex case in which the three-year limitation period to bring a claim based on his diagnosis had already passed at the time of instruction.

“Our client was very grateful that we secured an early admission of liability and an apology from the trust from the outset. It meant that we could settle his claim more quickly.

“The admission of liability, and understanding what went wrong, has helped him to come to terms with what happened, to obtain closure and to have a positive outlook for the future,” she added.

For more information, contact Coles Miller Partner Lydia Barnett.

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