We acted for a client (aged 41 at the time) who was admitted to the Royal United Hospital in Bath for an appendicectomy in 2009. During her anaesthetic induction, she was administered a muscle relaxant in error instead of a minor tranquiliser. This caused her to become temporarily paralysed but at all times remained conscious. She was unable to move and felt she was unable to breath. She was able to see and hear the activities of the medical staff, who initially thought that she had a suffered a seizure and was unconscious. She thought she was going to die. Gradually, she regained the ability to move and to speak. Her appendicectomy had to be postponed.
As a consequence of these events, she suffered from a very severe post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Notwithstanding intensive counselling, her PTSD continues and is likely to continue for many years, possibly for the rest of her normal working life. She leads a very restrictive lifestyle consistent with the pattern of avoidance behaviour seen in PTSD. She had to give up her job as a teacher and she may never be fit enough to work again.
Although the Hospital Trust accepted liability at an early stage, there was a dispute on the quantum of this claim. Proceedings had to be issued at Court and the parties were then able to reach a settlement.
S. J. Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £675,000 for this client in 2012