Hospital admits liability after woman reports being operated on while conscious

A hospital has admitted liability after a woman reported being operated on while conscious, leaving her with post-traumatic stress disorder, lawyers have said.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, said she screamed in agony when a surgeon cut into her belly button during an operation at Yeovil Hospital.

Medical negligence lawyers said she was given a spinal rather than general anaesthetic during a gynaecological procedure in 2018.

Following legal submissions, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, admitted liability, law firm Irwin Mitchell said.

The woman, in her 30s, said she screamed but nobody could hear because she was wearing an oxygen mask and a curtain was up.

She recalled remaining awake while a laparoscope was placed inside her, and her abdomen was filled with gas.

An increase in blood pressure alerted staff to her discomfort but the procedure was continued, the law firm said.

The woman said: “I have suffered a lot with PTSD and the nightmares have been horrendous.

“I have these images lying on a table with people watching me and not listening to my screams. It is terrible and I can wake up around three times a week due to this.

“I’m also now very nervous and paranoid around doctors too – my trust has just been shattered.

“While nothing will change what has happened to me, I just hope that lessons can be learned so no-one else faces similar problems in the future.”

The patient added that she was told by the surgeon that he had never undertaken such a procedure on a conscious patient, as she was taken into surgery.

A spokeswoman for Yeovil Hospital (pictured) said: “It appears that a breakdown of communication led to the use of a different anaesthetic to that normally required for such an operation. We are sorry if this patient suffered any distress as a result.

“However, this case is yet to be resolved with the claimant and we will therefore not discuss this further.

“In a typical year, we carry out more than 15,000 operations, many of them life-saving, and we pride ourselves on the highest possible standards of care and safety.”

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