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Iona Millais client in Clinical Negligence Claim after failure to diagnose Perianal Abscess

16 May 2012

I was instructed to act on behalf of my client in connection with a Clinical Negligence Compensation Claim for damages arising out of a failure to diagnose him with a Perianal Abscess.

My client was seen by his General Practitioner on 14th August 2009 with anal pain on defecation and excessive sweating. After two further appointments, my client was referred to the Defendant’s Hospital.

Thereafter, my client was seen at the General Surgery Outpatient Clinic on 5th October 2009 when he was unable to tolerate a rectal examination and was treated with Movicol and Rectogesic on the basis of a diagnosis of ‘possible Fissure’.  My client’s pain deteriorated and by 20th October 2009, he had developed swelling and tenderness to just below the testicles.

He was admitted to hospital when he was discharged on medication for treatment of Anal Fissure. An MRI scan carried out on the day of the hospital discharge demonstrated an Anterior Perianal Abscess. The Abscess discharged spontaneously on the night of 22nd October 2009. He was readmitted to hospital on 26th October 2009 when examination suggested that the Abscess cavity was clean and he was discharged for regular district nurse dressing.  An MRI scan on 10th December 2009 suggested that the Abscess was resolving.

Examination under anaesthetic on 16th December 2009 revealed probable Anterior and Posterior Anal Fissures. When he attended Colorectal Outpatients on 8th February 2010, the wounds were healed and he was feeling better.  A flexible Sigmoidoscopy on 9th March 2010 was normal.

A medical expert’s report supported that there had been a breach of duty in failing to make a diagnosis at an earlier stage. The report also established causation by concluding that - had an examination under anaesthetic been undertaken on 21st October 2009 my client's Abscess would have been identified and drained and on the balance of probabilities his abscess would have healed by 21st December 2009.

The Defendant entered into negotiations by putting forward an offer of £1,000 which upon consideration was rejected. Further negotiations pursued with the Defendant and an increased offer in the sum of £3,500 was submitted by the Defendant and the same upon consideration was accepted by my client.