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Katie Pack, now 23, from Gosport, Hampshire, could have suffered permanent fallopian tube and ovary damage after doctors at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, failed to diagnose appendicitis when she was just 19.
A series of misdiagnoses over a period of 17 days in December 2013 led to her appendix bursting, causing significant damage to internal organs. The resulting abscesses then had to be drained as a matter of emergency before doctors could finally perform an appendectomy in February of the following year.
Katie was initially told she was suffering from a 24-hour sickness bug, and advised not to attend the hospital for fear of spreading infection. During the next two weeks, as her condition deteriorated, she was admitted twice to the hospital, where she was moved from department to department and given multiple diagnoses.
Following this misdiagnosis and subsequent complications, Katie’s mother, Julie Cains, approached National Accident Helpline to find out whether she had a legal case on the grounds of clinical negligence.
After initially assessing the claim, National Accident Helpline passed the case to specialist solicitors, Coles Miller. The hospital admitted liability one month into the case – agreeing to pay compensation and writing a letter of apology to Katie.
The case was settled in October 2014 and the compensation will be used to support Katie in the event of her requiring IVF treatment in later life.
Katie Pack said:
I hope this outcome will mean that no-one else goes through the suffering I experienced after what should have been an easily treated medical issue. It’s taken me a long time to recover, and while the settlement doesn’t reverse the damage done, it does at least help me get my life back on track.
"I’m glad my mum got in touch with National Accident Helpline because they were really helpful and led us to a good solicitor who provided us with information on anything we needed.
Katie’s mother, Julie Cains, said:
My message to medical professionals is that they must always rule out appendicitis straight away when patients complain of severe abdominal pain. What Katie has been through is horrendous, but if going public with her story can prevent this happening to even one person, we will feel that justice has arrived at Katie’s door.
Russell Atkinson, CEO of National Accident Helpline, said:
“These types of cases can appear especially intimidating, but we are here to guide our customers through the process.
"Securing access to justice is an important step on the road to recovery for any victim of clinical negligence. We sincerely hope that this successful outcome will go some way to preventing other people going through this sort of traumatic experience.”
Coles Miller Solicitors Partner, David Simpson, said:
We are pleased to have been able to help Katie by achieving such a successful outcome in her case.
Victims of clinical negligence are often reluctant to take legal action against the NHS because they appreciate that GPs, surgeons and other healthcare practitioners are doing their best to help them. But sometimes there is simply no alternative.”
To find out more about Katie’s story, please visit our YouTube channel.
National Accident Helpline is the UK’s leading provider of personal injury advice, services and support. If you would like to be put in touch with one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors, call us on 0800 376 0150 or simply fill out a form online and we will be in touch.
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