Manchester

Salford Royal Hospital: Woman awarded £8m after NHS blunder

Salford Royal Hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption The woman was 22 when she was admitted to Salford Royal Hospital in 2010

A pregnant woman left brain damaged after her heart was accidentally punctured during an NHS operation has won an £8m compensation pay-out.

The woman was admitted to Salford Royal Hospital in Greater Manchester in 2010 following complications arising from an ectopic pregnancy.

During an operation, medics pierced one of the chambers of her heart, causing it to stop.

It led to "permanent and severe brain damage", caused by oxygen starvation.

Mrs Justice Swift told London's High Court how the woman, who was a 22-year-old hairdresser at the time of the blunder, had enjoyed "a full social life, a serious relationship and was pregnant".

"Her life looked promising," she added.

But the accident has left her using a wheelchair, unable to work and requiring 24-hour care.

'Very sad events'

With the help of her mother, she sued Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the hospital, formerly known as Hope Hospital.

The trust admitted liability in July 2012, and a trial was due to start earlier to assess the size of the payout.

However, after negotiations, the woman's legal team agreed a last minute deal with the trust, worth £8m.

The woman's mother attended the court hearing to hear the result.

NHS barrister Sarah Vaughan Jones QC said: "I would like to offer an apology on behalf of the trust for the very sad events and express my admiration for the tremendous efforts by the family to make the claimant as happy as she could possibly be."

Approving the settlement, Mrs Justice Swift also praised the care provided by the family, and said the woman, now 27, "remains generally cheerful and with a good sense of humour".

She said: "I hope that this substantial settlement will at least ensure she has the best possible quality of life in the years to come and I wish her and the other members of her family the very best for the future".

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites