A woman, who had to undergo a tracheostomy operation after a negligent doctor severed a nerve in her neck in a previous surgical procedure, has won an undisclosed settlement of compensation for windpipe injury operation negligence.
Joanne Roche (42) from Bridlington, East Yorkshire, underwent the initial operation in February 2008 at the Scarborough Royal Infirmary when she was admitted for routine surgery to remove a thyroid gland. However, when she woke up from the anaesthetic, Joanne knew immediately that something was not correct.
The surgeon who had carried out the operation – Dr Nayef El-Bhargouti – had severed a nerve to Joanne´s vocal chords, which were blocking her airways, leaving her struggling to breathe whenever she lay back and unable to talk.
Although she was permitted to leave hospital, and even return to her part-time job as a health-care assistant, Joanne´s condition failed to improve. Four months after her initial operation she had to undergo a tracheostomy procedure to insert a tube into her throat to enable her to breathe more clearly.
Joanne, initially had no intention of making a claim for windpipe injury operation negligence compensation, but after the tracheostomy had been inserted, Joanne was unable to speak without placing a hand over the opening in her throat, has become more prone to infections and has to avoid family events – such as swimming – where there is a risk that water may get into her lungs.
After taking legal counsel, Joanne made a medical negligence windpipe operation claim against Dr Nayef El-Bhargouti and the Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Trust. In the course of constructing the claim, Joanne´s solicitors found that Dr Nayef El-Bhargouti was not skilled in thyroid surgery and her operation had been done in half the time it should have.
Joanne filed a complaint to the General Medical Council, who suspended the doctor from practising. After such a clear indication of liability, the Scarborough and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust made an undisclosed offer of compensation for windpipe injury operation negligence which Joanne accepted and which will enable her to afford special breathing apparatus so that she may enjoy swimming with her children once again.