A woman, who suffered both physical and emotional injuries due to the negligence of a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, has been awarded €438,000 in hysterectomy error compensation following a court hearing.
Cynthia Kinsella (52) from Terenure, Dublin, underwent the hysterectomy at Mount Carmel Hospital in April 2008 after developing menorrhagia – a condition where the sufferer experiences heavy menstrual bleeding. Three weeks after her operation she started leaking from her bladder – a condition known as a fistula – which lead to serious distress and loss of amenity.
The consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist who oversaw the operation Dr. Gerry Rafferty – also assisted at a second operation in July in an attempt to eradicate the problem; where it was discovered that menorrhagia may have occurred due to a misplaced suture in the bladder. After discovering that the probable cause of her injury was her surgeon´s negligence, Cynthia sought legal advice and subsequently made a claim for negligent hysterectomy compensation.
Dr Rafferty denied his liability for Cynthia´s hysterectomy error – claiming that her condition was due to an uncommon complication of the hysterectomy operation – however, at Dublin´s High Court, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill did not accept the surgeon´s argument and found in favour of Cynthia for hysterectomy error compensation.
In calculating how much Cynthia should receive in compensation for a mistake during a hysterectomy, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill was advised that in November 2008 Cynthia had been made redundant from her senior secretarial job with a firm of engineers. Ms Kinsella has not worked since the redundancy due to the repercussions of the combination of her fistula condition and the severe anxiety disorder she developed as a result of her surgeon´s negligence.
The judge said that it was clear that Cynthia´s ability to work had been affected by her illness and that there was little prospect of her finding a job in the future because of it. Awarding Cynthia €200,000 hysterectomy error compensation for past and future pain and suffering, €225,000 compebsation for past and future loss of earnings and €13,184 for medical negligence special damages, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill said that had Cynthia not suffered as a result of the hysterectomy operation, he believed she would have most likely found alternative employment after her redundancy.