Jaw Injury Patient Compensated by NHS Trust

Posted on: September 9th, 2016 by Editor


A woman, whose jaw was severely injured after a surgical mask was incorrectly applied during a surgery, has been awarded a six-figure settlement of compensation.

In December 2010, Amanda Walker (forty-eight from Knaresborough in North Yorkshire) received the devastating news that she had miscarried twins. As is routine in such sad circumstances, Amanda required an operation to remove the miscarried foetuses and, as such, attended the Harrogate District Hospital. However, after the “routine” procedure was carried out, Amanda awoke with a severe pain in her jaw, and she was unable to open her mouth.

Amanda had a pre-existing dental condition diagnosed over a decade earlier, and doctors at the hospital said that it was this condition that caused Amanda her pain. As such, Amanda chose to visit her dentist to resolve the issue, though when her dentist examined her jaw, she discovered that it had been severely dislocated. A MRI revealed extreme tissue damage, akin to that seen in car-crash victims. The extent of the damage and injury has meant that Amanda has not been able to return to her job in PR and marketing.

The injury required four corrective surgeries and an implant.Though the Harrogate District Hospital continued to claim that they were not at fault for the damage,  Amanda  chose to consult a solicitor. The solicitor conducted an investigation and concluded that the way in which the surgical mask was applied to Amanda caused her injury, and not the pre-existing condition.

Amanda subsequently made a claim for medical negligence compensation against the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, who denied any liability for Amanda’s injury until very recently. However, when they did eventually admit fault, Amanda was awarded six figures of compensation for the surgical mask injury.

Dr David Scullion, the Medical Director of the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, commented that “The Trust is pleased an agreement has been reached. We have apologised to Ms Walker for the impact this injury has had on her. We conducted an investigation into Ms Walker’s care with us in 2010 and want to give assurance that we have learned all we can from this incident.”

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