A man, who was woken during a surgical procedure to tell him that his heart operation had gone wrong, has received a six-figure sum in compensation after making a medical negligence claim.
Steve Edwards ( aged 51) from Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset, was having a minor heart procedure at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in 2008 when the error occurred. During the surgery, an item of equipment slipped, causing a radio pulse to be applied on the wrong side of his heart.
The error meant that Mr Edwards would need a pacemaker to be fitted, and the heavily anaesthetised was brought around to advise him of the treatment he required. Mr Edwards alleged in his action against the Bristol Royal Infirmary that he did not appreciate the severity of the issue at the time, and it was only in an outpatient´s appointment ten weeks later that the full extent of the error became known.
Despite three further attempts at corrective surgery, Mr Edwards will now have to wear the pacemaker for the rest of his life – meaning that he will have to undergo surgery once every seven years to replace the battery. The Bristol Royal Infirmary admitted negligence and agreed a six-figure award sum in compensation with Mr Edwards´ legal representatives in an out-of-court settlement.
In a statement, the Bristol Royal Infirmary said “Technical errors during Mr Edwards’ cardiac ablation procedure resulted in the catheter moving and radio frequency energy being delivered to the wrong side of his heart. Further checks have been introduced to ensure that the catheter is perfectly placed before radio frequency energy is delivered.”