We supported a client who had a history of alcoholism and following some time in hospital suffered a brain injury, due to clinical negligence.

Our client had a history of alcoholism, which was complicated by oesophageal symptoms (problems with the throat and swallowing) and hypertension (high blood pressure). Due to bleeding from his oesophagus, he was rushed to hospital and admitted as an emergency case to treat the bleeding. The medical team carried out fluid resuscitation, which involves replenishing the body fluids lost as part of the bleeding. During the process our client was given excess fluid, in particular dextrose, which significantly diluted his sodium levels and led to him suffering brain damage

The treatment our client received was alleged to have been managed negligently by the hospital trust and, due to the brain damage sustained, our clinical negligence solicitors were instructed to pursue a clinical negligence claim against the hospital trust.

On behalf of our client, with the input of specialist medical expertise, we argued that over a 36-hour period, the client unnecessarily suffered a drop in sodium levels, from 144 to 121 units. This drop would have been avoided had his fluid levels been properly and appropriately monitored. The client’s symptoms were complex because they consisted of those similar to Parkinson’s disease, with upper limb shaking, unsteadiness on his feet (the client was forced to use an electric wheelchair), incoherent speech and deafness.

Medical experts confirmed that this led to his brain damage, known as Central Pontine Myelinolysis. However, even with this evidence, the hospital trust denied liability throughout.

Our client had complex medical issues to explore, and his needs were extensive, including the requirement for adapted housing, particularly as he subsequently lost his business and had no residual earning capacity. His condition also meant that he required a full and comprehensive care package. Our clinical negligence solicitors were able to identify such needs as reasonable and present them not only to the hospital trust, but also to the court.

Our clinical negligence solicitors continued to work with medical experts to ensure they were fully aware of our client’s situation and needs. They persisted with explaining to the court and hospital trust how our client wouldn’t be in this situation had the proper care and attention been in place during the emergency treatment.

This ultimately led to the matter being advanced to a joint-settlement meeting, which resulted in an out-of-court settlement of £900,000.

Our clinical negligence team provided advice and support to our client and his family following the brain injury, not only from a legal perspective but as trusted advisors. The £900,000 will go some way to helping our client rehabilitate and continue living as independently as possible.

For further information

To find out more about how we can provide support with brain injury claims please contact us.