Financial & Legal News

Compensation for a Biliary Stent that led to Sepsis

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In this case, we acted for the husband of a lady who sadly passed away after a series of medical negligence mistakes at the Royal Oldham Hospital. The claimant's wife was initially admitted to the hospital with pains in the right part of her abdomen and an ultrasound revealed gall stones and a dilated bile duct.

His wife was given an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) following the diagnosis of gallstones, ascending cholangitis and biliary sepsis.  As part of the procedure, a balloon was dilated to bypass one of the larger stones and a 7-French stent made of plastic was inserted into the bile duct.

Delays in the removal of biliary stent

The Hospital Trust’s policy is that the stent should be changed or removed within three to six months to avoid the development of biliary sepsis. On several occasions, the stent was noted on radiological imaging but no plan for its removal was made.  Although stents should be removed in a matter of months in this case the stent was left in place for 8 years.

She returned to the hospital on a number of occasions and later was diagnosed with a lower respiratory tract infection and reviewed by the Gastroenterology team following the results of her CT Scan.  The plan was for the removal of the stent by way of ERCP as an outpatient.

In an initial attempt to remove the old biliary stent it snapped and fractured as over the years it had calcified and adhered to surrounding tissue.

As the stent had been in situ for a number of years our client’s wife developed biliary sepsis.  Unfortunately, her general health condition deteriorated following the procedure to try and ultimately remove the stent and she later passed away in the hospital.

A Breach of Duty of Care

The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust admitted a Breach of Duty of Care in this case and in a formal response stated:  “It is accepted that the admitted breach of duty materially contributed to the Deceased death.”

The Coroner noted at Inquest that a contributory factor to her death was biliary sepsis as a consequence of a negligently retained biliary stent.

“Our client’s wife suffered in the final months of her life and the hospital missed at least five opportunities to identify that the stent had been in too long,” said Jacqueline White, Head of Medical Negligence at Pearson Solicitors.

“In this case the poor lady had over six months of avoidable pain, suffering and a loss of amenity.  Had the stent been removed in a timely manner it is probable that she would have been fit enough to undergo treatment and had more quality of life.”

“Although we initially took the case on for her husband, who brought a claim on behalf of the Estate of his late wife, he sadly passed away before a settlement was reached and the case was passed to his daughter.”

How can we help

If you or a member of your family have suffered Sepsis and there was a failure to provide adequate treatment then you may have a claim.

We offer a free initial interview and claims can be dealt with on ‘a no win no fee basis’. Call our medical negligence solicitors today on 0161 785 3500 or email the team at to discuss your potential Sepsis claim.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Jacqueline White


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