Patient left struggling to breathe and unable to perform everyday tasks after delayed operations

A busy, energetic woman from Preston was left struggling to breathe and unable to perform day to day tasks after a series of operations which were scheduled late.
A busy, energetic woman from Preston was left struggling to breathe and unable to perform day to day tasks after a series of operations which were scheduled late.
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A busy, energetic woman from Preston was left struggling to breathe and unable to perform day to day tasks after a series of operations which were scheduled late.

Elaine Boulton, 54, contracted sepsis after a procedure to help her recover better from a gallstone-related disease was pushed back at Fulwood Hall Hospital.

She has how successfully won her clinical negligence case against Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for what she says was a “very upsetting” and “traumatic experience”.

The Trust has since apologised “unreservedly” and reviewed her care to ensure lessons are learned.

Following a Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, which is performed to remove gallbladders, on July 28, 2016 Elaine was told by the hospital to keep a drain in “for two weeks in order to make sure there is no bile leak”.

After an unexpected increase in drainage, Elaine became concerned and contacted the hospital.

A series of delays and unsuccessful operations followed and it was only on August 15, 2016, when a further procedure was performed that medics managed to drain her of five litres of bile.

Elaine quickly became septic with fevers and blood tests showed high levels of inflammation.

It meant Elaine suffered discomfort in her chest, breathlessness and she also struggled emotionally.

Over the following weeks, Elaine became particularly weak and needed assistance showering and dressing.

A Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “We would like to apologise unreservedly for the shortcomings in care Ms Boulton experienced in her treatment by us, and the understandable distress this caused.

“We would like to reassure people that the safety of our patients remains our number one priority.

“We have reviewed the care provided to Ms Boulton to ensure learning takes place to help minimise the risk of any similar incidents occurring in the future.”

Elaine says winning the case has helped her to “close this chapter and move on positively”.

Leonie Millard from Forbes Solicitors said: “Closure and acknowledgement of suffering is an important feature to our work.”