Womans Claim Dismissed by High Court

By October 18, 2021 No Comments

A woman has her case dismissed by the High Court. She brought an action against a hospital over hysterectomy surgery performed on her and subsequently has had the case dismissed by the High Court.

The mother of three from Salthill, Galway, sued the Rotunda Hospital for alleged negligence during a surgery she underwent in October of 2013.

Vesico-Vaginal Fistula

The woman claims that she suffered a vesico-vaginal fistula, a type of bladder injury, due to an unrecognised intraoperative trauma to her bladder during surgery. She claimed that the damage to her bladder was secondary to a suture being placed through the bladder wall while closing the vaginal stump.

She further alleged that there was a failure on the part of the hospital to ensure properly supervised care post-operation.

As a result of her injuries, the woman suffered from incontinence, had to have another operation to deal with the issue, and still feels that her bladder does not properly empty and is accompanied by slow urinary output.

These claims were disputed by the Rotunda Hospital, arguing that negligence was not a factor either in the performance or follow-up care of the hysterectomy. It further disputed that there was an unrecognised trauma, the allegation in relation to a suture carried out during the surgery, as well as any delay in treating or diagnosing her symptoms post-operation.

In dismissing the case, Mr Justice Michael Hanna stated that he had seen no objective evidence to indicate an injury indicative of intraoperative insult to the woman’s bladder. As there was no available scientific evidence that could say with certainty what the cause of the fistula was, he therefore had to rely on “varying and contrasting professional opinions as to what occurred”.

Infected Haematoma

From the evidence that was available, Justice Hanna posited that the most likely cause of fistula was the development of a haematoma which became infected and which interfaced with the surface of her bladder.

Taking the balance of probabilities and all evidence into consideration, Justice Hanna believed that the fistula, which the woman undoubtedly suffered from, was not the result of any negligent action or contribution by the hospital.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*

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