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Posted on 19th June 2017

Botched Gallbladder Surgery Leaves Young Mum Fighting For Her Life

When the young mum had surgery to remove her gallbladder (cholecystectomy), she was left needing life-saving surgery to correct a series of negligent failures.

In September 2015 the 31 year old underwent surgery to remove her gallbladder at the University College Hospital North Durham. The performing Surgeon noted in the medical records that the operation was difficult but there were no complications.

The next day the mother was discharged without any observations taking place and despite her not feeling very well. Over the next few days the lady’s health deteriorated and her family telephoned her GP to come and see her.

When her GP visited, it was noted that the mum’s urine was dark, the GP also noted she was dehydrated. Her GP was called out again four days after her operation because she was becoming unresponsive.

The 31 year old mum was taken to hospital by ambulance where a CT scan was performed. Emergency surgery followed and five litres of pus and bile had to be removed from her abdomen. During the emergency surgery it was found that she had severe sepsis, multiple abdominal abscesses, split gallstones and a bile leak.

Following the emergency surgery, the pain continued and on 1st October 2015 she was transferred to the Freeman Hospital where she underwent further tests. It was found that she had a hole in a part of her small intestine called the duodenum.

After being in Freeman Hospital for a month she was finally discharged only having to return for treatments. Whilst at home on 13th November 2015, the mum noticed her eyes had turned yellow. She telephoned the Freeman Hospital and was told to go back immediately.

Whilst at the hospital she underwent an MRI scan which showed she was suffering with a common bile duct stricture measuring 30ml. She was fitted with a stent to open the stricture but later required further surgery to remove the stent following its four month lifespan.

Just two days after the stent removal operation the mother suffered a respiratory arrest and needed to be resuscitated. It was found that a faulty piece of equipment administered an excessive amount of fentanyl.


This case appears to highlight the knock on effect that one instance of negligence can cause. Following any surgery procedures must be followed to ensure that being discharged is appropriate.

In this instance, observations were not carried out and she was discharged despite being unwell.

The risk of developing sepsis following surgery is something that should be closely monitored before being discharged. If you have developed sepsis after having routine surgery, contact us on 0330 355 9210 or