Compensation Claim for a Botched Laparoscopy Settled at Court

A compensation claim for a botched laparoscopy has been settled at the High Court, with the plaintiff being awarded more than €855,000 compensation.

The plaintiff – a fifty-year-old woman from Grenville in County Laoise – attended the Midland General Hospital in Portlaoise in June 2002 to undergo a laparoscopy. The purpose of the procedure was to establish why she was unable to fall pregnant; but, as a trocar was being inserted into her abdomen, the surgical instrument punctured a vein and tore an artery, causing the woman to haemorrhage.

Due to the botched procedure, the woman lost eight pints of blood. She was transferred to the hospital´s intensive care unit, where she remained on life support for two days. The woman was discharged after six days of treatment, but still experiences significant pains in her abdomen region fifteen years after the error by her consultant obstetrician – Dr John Corristine.

The woman made a compensation claim for a botched laparoscopy against Dr Corristine and the HSE, alleging there had been a failure to ensure the equipment used during the procedure was in a good and proper working order. She also claimed there was a lack of adequate precautions for her safety and that the pain and suffering she currently experiences are a direct result of the botched laparoscopy.

Dr Corristine and the HSE acknowledged mistakes had been made during the procedure and accepted liability for the woman´s initial pain and suffering. However, both defendants denied there was a connection between the procedure and her ongoing pain and suffering. The compensation claim for a botched laparoscopy subsequently proceeded to the High Court to be settled.

At the High Court hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard medical evidence supporting a connection between the procedure and the woman´s current condition. He also her condition was likely to deteriorate over time. The judge said the woman´s quality of life had been seriously impaired as a result of Dr Corristine´s lack of care, and he awarded her €855,793 in settlement of her compensation claim for a botched laparoscopy.

Publication of Cochrane Review on use of Surgical Mesh

Publication of Cochrane Review on use of Surgical Mesh - February 2016

Publication of Cochrane Review on use of surgical mesh – February 2016

This publication assesses the risks and benefits of transvaginal mesh. Cochrane reviews are internationally recognised  as the highest standard in evidence-based healthcare. They ar systematic reviews of primary research and investigate the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation

The latest review published on 9th February 2016 concludes that women who with vaginal prolapse suffer a mixed outcome when mesh repair is carried out.

The review reports on 37 randomised controlled trials in more than 4,000 women and draws concerning conclusions for gynaecology surgeons and women who are considering repair surgery for prolapse.

Problems reported in the review include women being more likely to have incontinence, mesh exposure or repeat surgery if they have had mesh repairs.

19% of women were aware of the prolapse following mesh surgery compared to 10-15% in permanent mesh repair. 7-18% of women were likely to have further surgery in emsh repairs compared to 5% in native tissue repair.

The Cochrane Review also noted that other reviews had reported at 10% mesh erosion rate. An audit of women undergoing surgery for prolapse concluded that mesh anterior repairs had a higher risk of later complications than non-mesh repairs.

A number of British medical societies have recommended that women who are considering prolapse surgery should be advised about the potential serious health consequences, including mesh exposure and erosion, pain and incontinence.

Medical device lawyer Jill Paterson comments:

Any medical device that is used in the human body must be fit for purpose and it is increasingly clear that for many of my clients being fitted with surgical mesh has left them many health problems. I hope that medical staff will advise women facing prolapse surgery about the potential problems associated with vaginal mesh in light of this report.