Settlement secured for a failure in the standard of care

08 August 2023

Our medical negligence team, has secured a settlement of £13,000 on behalf of Mrs T, whose late husband had to have his right testicle removed and an abscess on his testicle drained because of an endoscopy flexible cystoscopy. 

The facts 

Mrs T instructed us to pursue a medical negligence claim after her late husband underwent an endoscopy flexible cystoscopy when there was a failure in the standard of care concerning disinfection and cleaning of the flexible cystoscopes.

Mrs T’s late husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer and attended a routine flexible cystoscopy. A flexible cystoscopy is a test that allows the doctor to look directly at the bladder’s lining from the bladder opening (the urethra). 

Two days later, he attended the Urgent Care Centre, where he was diagnosed with a urine infection – he was prescribed antibiotics and was discharged. 

Two days after attending the Urgent Care Centre, he passed blood in his urine and increased pain, so he went to the Emergency Department. 

A day later, he had an ultrasound scan of his testicles, which showed inflammation of the right testicle and minor fluid collection. He was prescribed further antibiotics, but later scans showed no improvement in his condition. 

Thirteen days later, Mrs T’s late husband was taken to have his right testicle removed along with drainage of a scrotal abscess.

Two days later, Mrs T’s late husband was discharged from hospital. 

The hospital’s internal investigation found that 46 patients, who had undergone cystoscopies at the hospital’s Urology Cystoscopy Suite, were identified as having pseudomonas infections ranging from urine infections to testicular infections and discitis. The suite environment and scopes were sampled, and pseudomonas were identified. 

Pseudomonas is a group of bacteria that can cause various types of infections. 

There was a discrepancy in the training delivered to the staff in March 2020. There was no standard operating procedure for the consistent use and decontamination of equipment for the medical team to follow.

As a result of the failure of the hospital for using infected equipment during the flexible cystoscopy, Mrs T’s late husband developed a urine infection and an infection in his testicle because of infection via pseudomonas aeruginosa which, in turn, led to Mrs T’s late husband having to have his right testicle removed and an abscess on his testicle drained.

The claim 

To prove the claim, expert witnesses were needed. Jyoti Chohan instructed a Consultant Microbiologist & Control of Infection expert to report on causation. This expert believed that on the balance of probabilities, the hospital’s failure in cleaning and disinfecting the flexible cystoscope caused Mrs T’s late husband to develop a urine infection and an infection in his testicle. 

Jyoti submitted a pre-action letter of claim to the defendant; this was met with admittance of liability on behalf of the defendant Trust. Negotiations to settle the case before incurring additional costs of issuing court proceedings proved successful, and a reasonable offer to settle was made on behalf of the defendant Trust. 

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