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08 November 2013
Slater and Gordon Lawyer Emma Doughty settled a Clinical Negligence compensation claim for a client who suffered horrendous symptoms of urinary frequency and pain resulting from an undiagnosed dermoid cyst for almost three years. Not only that but from 2007 until the end of October 2010, she underwent numerous painful and intrusive investigations which proved fruitless. In 2007, when she sought advice for her problems, she was only 15 years old.
Emma explains the background to her case:
My client was referred in September 2007 to a Surrey hospital to a Consultant Paediatrician to investigate the cause of her urinary frequency. Her symptoms were so bad that she was no longer able to undertake a 20 minute bus journey without needing to get off the bus to go to the toilet. She was referred to an enuresis department and within that, for a review by a urology specialist nurse. She was prescribed Detrusitol.
She underwent a scan of her abdomen, which was normal. Her medication was changed to Oxybutynin, but her symptoms of urgency and frequency of passing urine did not improve.
She was then referred to a Consultant Urologist in February 2008. He thought she may have an overactive bladder. At this stage, the Claimant was passing urine approximately 3 times an hour and that her drug therapy was not relieving her symptoms. After being referred to the Urology department, she underwent numerous consultations and procedures; some of them highly intrusive and not without risk.
She underwent a cystoscopy, cystodistension, urethral dilatation, then a botox injection and then a further procedure of a ‘rigid cystoscopy and intravesical Botox injections’. The cystoscopy findings showed nothing. Unfortunately, the cystoscopy was undertaken by trainee surgeons and not by the Consultant himself. They missed what would have been a very large dermoid cyst by this point.
My client then had an out-patient review in 2009 where she was started on a reducing dose of steroids to reduce the inflammation in her bladder. This being unsuccessful she was advised to start using a neuromodulation device again. In June 2009, she was advised to switch to an intravesical Cystitat as the neuromodulation device was not successful. In fact, she underwent 5 courses of intravesical Cystistat (the injection of drugs directly into the bladder) within a time period of 17 days.
BY the next review, my client was extremely tearful and was diagnosed with depression and provided with anti-depressants, which of course failed to help her urinary urgency.
By December 2009, her bladder symptoms had not improved and it was suggested that a further cystoscopy would be advisable with a view to injecting a combination of Marcaine and steroid around the urethra. She underwent this four months later.
In June 2010, my client attended her GP as she was very tearful and depressed. She could not cope any longer with the frequency of rising up to 6 times at night. Her job was being affected. She requested a second opinion.
She was referred to the Urology department of another local hospital where a scan of her urinary tract was undertaken. In October 2010, the result of the ultrasound scan of the urinary tract concluded that a dermoid cyst was present and an urgent gynaecological opinion was required. The gynaecologist advised that she required an immediate laparotomy and ovarian cystectomy. The relief that my client felt when she was finally diagnosed was immense.
In January 2011, she finally underwent this procedure which would change her life. She is now recovering well and thrilled to be able to finally start putting this matter behind her. I believe that this case shows the importance of doctors being reminded not to forget the basics. The Consultant who treated my client was clearly experienced yet failed to undertake a scan which he ought to have done at the outset, when she was first referred to him in 2008. Had he done so, then she would not have suffered three years of limitations, affecting her school, social and family life. My client was extremely young at this time and will never get those formative years back. What I think this case also underlines is the importance of Consultants asking for second opinions when they feel that they have exhausted all options. At no point did my client’s treating urologist do this but instead continued on with invasive and pointless interventions, all of which were treating the wrong condition. In the end it was up to a young girl to request the second opinion which would finally solve her condition.
If you have suffered something similar, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss this further.
Emma Doughty is a Clinical & Medical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
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