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Our client went to Leeds General Infirmary for his implantable cardioverter defibrillator to be changed. An ICD is a small electronic device that is connected to the heart for the purpose of monitoring and regulating electrical problems.
This routine procedure was undertaken via local anaesthetic and he was discharged the same day.
However, three days after the procedure had been carried out, our client was readmitted to hospital after hearing an alarm from his ICD. It was suspected that his ICD had a fractured lead.
The hospital performed surgery the following day, during which it was discovered that one of wires of the ICD was not fully screwed in to the header port of the device. This fault had caused the alarm to go off. Our client underwent a successful revision procedure, but unfortunately he suffered a post-operative haematoma and infection which resulted in him requiring a two-week stay in hospital.
Because of this prolonged inpatient stay, our client’s mobility was affected, and this in turn impacted on his day-to-day life following discharge from hospital. Furthermore, he also suffered scarring to his chest where the haematoma had been.
Our client wanted to know if he was eligible to make an implantable cardioverter defibrillator claim and contacted our free legal helpline to find out. Medical negligence lawyer Sophie Townsend confirmed that he did have a valid claim and agreed to pursue the case on a no win, no fee basis.
Sophie presented the claim on the basis that there had been a failure to ensure that the ICD device was properly working and that the pins of the leads were not fully inserted into the header ports before they were fastened. This error had directly resulted in her client needing to undergo a revision procedure, and a further two week stay in hospital.
Solicitors for Leeds General Infirmary admitted liability and offered to settle the claim for £3,500. Sophie didn’t think this was enough and advised her client not to accept the offer. He followed her advice and Sophie was able to go on and recover £12,000 for her client.