Back injury negligence claim made against Great Ormond Street Hospital

By Blackwater Law

Negligent care from a hospital can mean that a back injury claim can be made, although there are many different scenarios in which back injury compensation can be claimed. Here, we take a look at a recent case where surgical intervention did not result in a positive conclusion.

Great Ormond Street Hospital is at the centre of an enquiry surrounding surgery for the spinal condition, scoliosis.

Teenager Amy Allen, needed surgery to correct a curvature of the spine, a back injury caused by scoliosis. Amy was born with the genetic condition, Noonan Syndrome, which can cause a wide variety of health problems, including heart defects.

Despite living in Scotland, Great Ormond Street Hospital in London was chosen to perform the back surgery due to having heart specialists available on site, in case of any complications. Amy’s parents were told that the ECMO life-support system, which oxygenates blood outside the body, would be available.

However, just hours after the back surgery, Amy’s ventilation tube was removed, despite having previously been told it would need to remain in place for 24 hours. After this action, her condition rapidly declined, and at this point, Amy’s parents discovered there was no ECMO backup as the service was not manned 24/7, and the cardiac team were not aware of Amy or her need for backup care.

Over three and half hours later, it was decided to put the ventilation tube back in, and the ECMO team were assembled half an hour later at 4am. However, they did not start work on Amy until 7:15am as the team are not routinely available 24/7.

Amy died from sepsis 23 days later.

The coroner found that:

  • there was poor planning of Amy’s care once she was accepted on the intensive care unit.
  • there was no ECMO life-support system for Amy and “the therapy should have been at the forefront” of the team looking after her.
    no-one was in charge of Amy’s post-operative care, of ensuring that ECMO support was in place.
  • Her ventilation tube was removed “in the face of worsening vital signs” and without a cardiac assessment having been made.

A Great Ormond Street spokesman said:

We are very sorry Amy’s care fell short of the high standards we should always be meeting.
We will look closely at the Coroner’s findings to consider if any additional action is needed.

If you need to make a medical negligence claim, then you will need to speak to one of our specialist back injury solicitors to ensure you get the correct advice. Blackwater Law offer free initial advice on clinical negligence claims and take on cases on a no win no fee basis.

Get expert advice

Call today and speak to Kamila Jaskula, specialist medical negligence solicitor. Find out if you could claim compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500