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Update: personal injury and clinical negligence

Jock Mackenzie reviews cases defining the matter of a breach, while Vijay Ganapathy examines psychiatric injury, aggravated damages and costs awarded to a successful party

22 January 2008

Clinical negligence

In Rosalind Colwill v Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust [2007] EWHC 2881 (QB) (Dobbs J), the High Court had to consider whether septic thrombophlebitis, caused by Staphylococcus aureus, which had resulted in septicaemia and pneumonia complicated by Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, had been caused negligently. The claimant had been left with a hemiplegia, near blindness and severe cognitive impairment.

A number of matters had been agreed between the experts and the parties before trial. However, the court had to consider five matters of breach that remained in dispute: (1) whether insertion of an intravenous cannula on the day of admission was in breach (it was agreed the cannula remaining in situ from the day of admission was the cause of the phlebitis); (2) whether insertion of the cannula in the claimant’s antecubital fossa (ACF) was in breach; (3) whether it was in breach not to remove the cannula before thr...

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