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Avoidable pain

Ben Webster-Ward

A 22-year-old was left with pain for months after surgeons failed to remove metal fragment from his leg.

In November 2015, Ben Webster-Ward was unfortunately injured at home following a gas canister explosion. He was taken to hospital via ambulance where he was then examined.

Ben had suffered amputation of his right thumb, index finger and knuckle of his middle finger. He had a penetrating wound to his left thigh and some further wounds to his chest and abdomen.

Due to his injuries, Ben required surgery, which he underwent two days after the accident. He underwent an exploration of his right-hand injury and washout, together with debridement of his left thigh.

After the surgery, Ben still had pain in his left thigh and his wound seemed to be swollen, however, doctors had no concerns over this.

Several days later, Ben’s leg seemed to be leaking but he was reassured there were no signs of infection and a few days later he was discharged from hospital to recover at home.

Over time, Ben’s leg didn’t seem to improve and he attended his GP in January as the pain in his leg was causing him concern. The wound was raised and painful, therefore Ben was given massage gel to help this.

Ben’s pain continued and he turned to his GP a number of months later, it was then noted the scar had healed and there was a clear lump in there. Ben was referred for an ultrasound scan.

In December 2016, Ben underwent an ultrasound scan and was referred for an MRI scan. His MRI took place in February 2017 and had to be stopped due to identifying many artefacts from a metal foreign body in his leg.

Subsequently, Ben was discharged and had to be re-referred to the hospital for further treatment. He was listed in June for surgery to excise the metal fragment.

In November 2017, Ben underwent surgery, which went well and he was discharged the same day. The surgeon attempted to go in via Ben’s previous scar; however, he has been left with slightly more scarring than he had before.

When Ben returned home, there was a lot of blood under his dressings and this was seeping out. The wound was re-dressed but this didn’t stop the bleeding. Upon returning to the hospital the next day, Ben was admitted overnight and would closure strips were applied. His wound then stopped bleeding and he was discharged home. Ben’s leg, unfortunately, became infected a few weeks later in December, and he required a course of antibiotics to treat this.

Following his treatment, Ben contacted Fletchers to look at bringing a medical negligence claim the hospital. The Trust admitted there was a failure to remove a metal fragment during Ben’s surgery, which had been identified on his pre-operative x-ray.

In March 2018, we successfully settled Ben’s case for £10,000. Ben is now feeling much better and the pain he was experiencing had gone. He has now been discharged from any further care and had recently been able to go back to playing football again.

Hannah Ashcroft, a solicitor at Fletchers, handled Ben’s case and said,

As a result of the negligence which occurred in November 2015, Ben suffered for over two years unnecessarily which impacted on his quality of life and enjoyment of his hobbies such as football. We are pleased that once the retained fragment was identified that this was promptly dealt with and that the Trust have compensated Ben for his injuries without delay.

Hannah Ashcroft

Case Solicitor

Hannah is a solicitor within our medical negligence department; she manages cases through to settlement or commencement of litigation and has over 5 years of experience dealing with customers who have suffered serious injuries and medical negligence. Within her role as a senior fee earner, Hannah is responsible for corresponding with customers and experts to ensure cases are conducted in a proactive and effective manner.

Key Case Details

Ben had a metal fragment in his leg, which caused two years of avoidable pain, suffering and loss of amenity. He required further surgery to remove the metal fragment.
We investigated Ben's case and the Trust admitted there was a failure to remove a metal fragment during his surgery.
We successfully settled Ben's case for £10,000.
Ben is now feeling better following the operation to remove the metal fragment and has been recently able to go back to playing football.

Further Reading…

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  • IIP - Investors in People
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  • The Legal 500 - Leading Firm 2015
  • The Law Society - Clinical Negligence
  • The Lawyer UK200 - Listed Firm 2015
  • Top Ranked Leading Individual - Chambers UK 2019
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