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Late diagnosis of, and treatment for, appendicitis – Case Study

Our client v Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Year of incident: February 2012

Date of Settlement: August 2017

Acting: John Vallance, Director at Wake Smith Solicitors


The client attended A&E at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield on 22 February 2012 with worsening symptoms of appendicitis.

The condition was not diagnosed, no surgery was performed and the hospital discharged the client.

The client underwent emergency surgery at Chesterfield Royal Hospital on 24 February 2012 requiring a right hemicolectomy.

Had surgery been performed on 22 February 2012 she would have had either a laparoscopic or open appendectomy and would have avoided the need for a right hemicolectomy and its consequences.


The client suffered post-operative pain for about 12 months. Most significantly chronic bowel cramps and diarrhoea caused by the hemicolectomy.

The client continues to suffer from regular bouts of diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bloating and urgency.

The ongoing bouts of diarrhoea have prevented her from returning to work.

Ongoing symptoms are likely to be permanent and the client risks requiring treatment for adhesions and/or an incisional hernia.

Expert Evidence:

We instructed experts to prepare reports for the client with regards to:

Emergency Medicine (breach of duty)

Surgery (breach of duty, causation and condition/prognosis)

The Proceedings:

The matter was settled out of court.


The claim settled for a value of £110,000 plus reasonable costs.

Click here to download the case study as a PDF.

Client comment:

“Thank you so much for all of your help, expertise and support on my matter and making it as painless as able. I appreciate all your efforts and your caring manner. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the team at Wake Smith.”

Medical & Clinical Negligence Team

Terry Regan
Director & Head of Department

John Vallance

Kate Lax

Scott Haslam

Natasha Lindley

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