Widower Settles Compensation Claim for Negligent Hernia Surgery

Posted on: January 29th, 2013 by Editor

A man, whose wife tragically died due to the incorrect staples being used during an operation, has settled his compensation claim for negligent hernia surgery.

Helen Blyth was admitted into the Northampton General Hospital in March 2010 for surgery that was needed to repair a hiatus hernia that went through her diaphragm and into her chest. The operation had been described to Helen and her husband Sydney as being “routine” and, at first, it appeared as though it had been performed successfully.

However, at 8:00pm on the evening of the operation, Helen´s blood pressure started to decrease and, at 1:00am the following morning she was found unresponsive. An emergency medical team rushed Helen back into the operating theatre, but she was pronounced dead at 1:55am.

The inquest into her unexpected death determined that a rare complication had caused the decrease in blood pressure and resulting cardiac arrest; but Sydney – Helen´s widower – was not happy with the findings of the inquest and asked a solicitor to look more deeply into his wife´s death.

The solicitor´s medical expert discovered that the surgeon who had performed the operation – Mr David Cubbon-Hunter – had used Pro Tack staples during the procedure to seal the opening through which the hernia had occurred, despite the manufacturer warning that Pro Tack staples should not be used in the region of the diaphragm.

With this information, Sydney made a compensation claim for negligent hernia surgery against Mr Cubbon-Hunter and the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust – claiming that the surgeon should have been aware of the risks involved with using this particular type of staple.

The compensation claim for negligent hernia surgery was investigated by the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, who eventually admitted liability for Helen´s death. Sydney´s solicitor started negotiations with the hospital, and a settlement of £150,000 was agreed to compensate Sydney for the avoidable loss of his wife.


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