We were Instructed by the mother of AW, a 10 year old boy from Torrington in North Devon, to investigate the misdiagnosis by his GP of appendicitis.
AW complained of stomach pains and started vomiting His mother was advised, following a call to NHS 111, to attend his out of hours doctor’s surgery. She took him to Bideford Hospital where he was noted to be in “very severe pain”. His mother was advised to monitor him and to speak to his GP if his symptoms became worse.
His symptoms did deteriorate and his mother took him, as advised, to see his GP. His mother raised the possibility of the pain being appendicitis as AW’s sister had experienced this only a few months before. The GP examined him and advised that he was likely to have gastritis.
AW’s condition failed to improve, so his mother took him to see a different GP who referred him to hospital. On arrival at the hospital AW was taken straight to theatre and underwent an open appendectomy for a perforated appendix. AW was transferred onto the Paediatric High Dependency Unit “for close observation” where he remained for a number of days before being transferred to the children’s ward. His condition deteriorated the following day and he started vomiting. He was transferred back to the High Dependency Unit where he was treated for an infection. He was discharged approximately 1 week later.
AW’s mother appointed Slee Blackwell’s specialist clinical negligence team to pursue a compensation claim for GP misdiagnosis on a No Win – No Fee basis.
A detailed Letter of Claim was sent to the GP. A response was then received from the GP’s Defence Union denying liability. We rejected the denial and threatened to commence formal court proceedings. After a short period of negotiation, a settlement was eventually reached with the boy being awarded £8,500; a figure that was approved by the court.