In the days following a simple sinus surgery, Melbournite Daniel Hogan started to develop flu-like symptoms. His surgeon reassured Mr Hogan that the symptoms would eventually pass, but what happened next changed his life forever.
Before the operation, Daniel Hogan was an avid exerciser. He would run almost every night and practiced yoga regularly. Now, the 38-year-old is partially quadriplegic; having developed meningitis from complications arising from sinus surgery.
According to a statement filed in the Supreme Court, Mr Hogan telephoned his surgeon Ron Trower two days after being discharged from a Melbourne Hospital. The surgeon reassured him that the flu-like symptoms were probably just a virus.
Several days passed as Mr Hogan’s condition deteriorated dramatically. He was eventually taken to the emergency room and their surgeons found a defect in his nasal cavity that had allowed the cerebrospinal fluid to leak, causing meningitis.
Mr Hogan has since been left permanently disabled form the neck down.
He finds it difficult to walk 100 metres, has zero sexual function, and is forced to use a catheter to drain his bowels.
The question remained, was it anyone’s fault?
Mr Hogan has recently decided to sue his surgeon for failing to provide proper care following the surgery. Mr Trower and the Royal Melbourne Hospital have denied any negligence in their treatment of Mr Hogan, but some law experts believe that along with the future lose of earnings, cost of medical treatment, household assistance and damages for pain and suffering, a compensation figure of $2million could be reached.
If not settled through mediation, the case is set for trial in November.
WHAT IS MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE?
Hospitals, doctors and health care providers have a duty to take proper care when treating patients. If a patient were to suffer injury that came as a direct result of inadequate skill or care then the patient (or family) may be able to make a claim for financial compensation.
Medical negligence claims are also extremely complex. Not every outcome results in a claim and it’s crucial to demonstrate a connection between the error and negative outcome.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN?
A tragedy like Mr Hogan’s has reinforced the principles that medical practitioners have a duty to warn their patients of all risks involved. Extra care must be taken by both doctors and hospitals to ensure our sick receive the best possible care that’s available.
THINK YOU HAVE A NEGLIGENCE CLAIM?
Then contact a lawyer.
It’s important you speak with someone who has experience in medical negligence as the cases are extremely complex. Time limits also apply in these types of scenarios, so early investigations are essential.
Head to our homepage if you’re seeking further legal advice.