Under what circumstances is it possible to claim compensation for hysterectomy complications?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
Despite a hysterectomy generally being a relatively safe procedure, there are still circumstances in which it will be possible to claim compensation for hysterectomy complications. The same conditions of injury and negligence still apply when making a claim for hysterectomy complications compensation, so you must have sustained an avoidable injury due to the negligence of a medical practitioner in order to be eligible to claim compensation for hysterectomy complications.
The most frequent complication that occurs due to hysterectomy surgery – and which would qualify for compensation for hysterectomy complications – is when a surgeon makes a mistake while removing the uterus. The most common error is the accidental tearing or cutting of the bladder or the lower intestine which can cause internal bleeding, considerable blood loss and harm to a patient.
Although a surgeon may be responsible for the injury due to carelessness or incompetence, if the mistake is noticed quickly and corrected during the procedure, there may be little or no harm caused to the patient and no long term consequences to the patient´s health. In these circumstances, even though the surgeon may have been negligent, it is unlikely that a claim for compensation for hysterectomy complications would be successful.
However when mistakes are made which are not noticed promptly, and are responsible for health problems later in life or require further surgical procedures to correct, then a claim for hysterectomy complications compensation should be possible. Should, for example, the bowel be damaged during a hysterectomy procedure, it can lead to faecal matter leaking into the body cavity – which in turn can cause highly serious health problems such as septicaemia or peritonitis.
If the bladder is damaged during an operation for a hysterectomy it may cause temporary or even permanent problems with bladder control. Not only is this highly embarrassing for the patient, but a colostomy bag may have to be worn in the future which would lead to a considerable loss of amenity. A claim for hysterectomy complications compensation in such cases can be made for the loss of function, distress and any suffering caused by your surgeon´s negligence – for both the physical and psychological trauma which has occurred due to hysterectomy complications.
It is important that you receive accurate legal advice about claiming compensation for hysterectomy complications which is relevant to your personal situation, and we recommend you to speak with a medical negligence solicitor about any hysterectomy complications you may have suffered due to a surgeon´s negligence. If it is possible for you to claim compensation for hysterectomy complications, a medical negligence solicitor will be able to advise you of the procedures which need to be completed to support your claim, as a claim for hysterectomy complications compensation would not be assessed by the Injuries Board.