Both Our Lives Have Been Completely Devastated as a Result of This Avoidable Error ; SOCIAL WORKER LEFT PARALYSED AFTER OPERATION BLUNDER

By Varma, Anuji | Birmingham Evening Mail (England), May 17, 2013 | Go to article overview

Both Our Lives Have Been Completely Devastated as a Result of This Avoidable Error ; SOCIAL WORKER LEFT PARALYSED AFTER OPERATION BLUNDER


Varma, Anuji, Birmingham Evening Mail (England)


A MIDLAND social worker who cared for people with spinal injuries was left paralysed from the waist down after a hospital blunder.

Stephen Onley, 52, had undergone a routine hip operation at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, in Northfield, when tragedy struck.

Medics administered an epidural anaesthetic but failed to monitor him properly and his blood pressure fell dangerously low resulting in a lack of blood to his spinal cord - leading to the paralysis from his waist down.

According to Mr Onley's solicitors, Irwin Mitchell, the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust has admitted full responsibility for the irreversible spinal damage.

Mr Onley also suffered a perforated bowel which he suffered due to inadequate care after becoming paralysed.

Stephen, of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, who has recently become a grandfather, said: "I had spent more than 35 years caring for people with spinal injuries and so I was only too aware that epidurals carry a small, but nevertheless serious, risk of paralysis.

I had made up my mind not to have an epidural under any circumstances but was told that it was recommended.

"As a result of the mistakes the hospital made through not monitoring my blood pressure, I will never walk again.

"I am now completely reliant upon my wife who has to care for me round the clock.

"Carol has been fantastic and I don't know how I would have coped without her, but the fact remains that both our lives have been completely devastated as a result of this avoidable error."

A future settlement will have to provide for the lifetime of care and equipment Stephen needs. …

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