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Posted on 27th November 2017

Patient Suffered Heart Attack During Surgery

A 48 year old man suffered a heart attack during a routine urological operation after the anaesthetist abandoned his post for two minutes.

During the surgical procedure a general anaesthetic was administered but whilst the anaesthetist was out of the theatre the patient’s heart rate became irregular and he went into cardiac arrest.

When the patient came round from the surgery, he was informed of what had happened.

The patient decided to instruct specialist clinical negligence solicitors to investigate his potential claim for compensation. His argument was that if the anaesthetist had been present, drugs could have been given to avoid the heart attack and he would have recovered from the surgery as planned.

The patient said “I honestly could not believe it – you put a huge amount of faith in the doctors treating you, so I was completely shocked to hear what had happened.

“If everything had gone to plan I should have been out of hospital that day, but instead I needed days in hospital to recover and then also another procedure booked in for July.

“Because of what I’d been through, I got very worried ahead of that operation and while all went well it was a very stressful time”

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust accepted “that the temporary absence of the anaesthetist during the procedure was inexcusable and that if he had been present the situation would have been managed differently”. The Trust has given a five figure sum in settlement of the medical negligence compensation claim.


When a surgical procedure is being performed, mistakes can be made however making a mistake sometimes does not indicate medical negligence has happened.

If during an emergency caesarean section, the surgeon damages the woman’s bladder for example, it cannot be considered negligent. This is because when performing a c-section, an incision in the lower part of the uterus is required. The bladder sits in front of the uterus and during a caesarean section it needs to be pushed down so that the incision can be made. 

A claim for compensation however may be made if the above happened and the damaged bladder was not identified and repaired whilst performing the c-section.

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury whilst having a surgical procedure or soon after one, you may have grounds to make a compensation claim. Contact us on 0330 355 9210 for for a free claim assessment.