£10,000 awarded for nasal burns sustained by child
In 2014 £10,000 compensation was awarded to a 13-year-old child who sustained injuries including burns to her nostrils 3 years previously in October 2011. The injury was sustained during reconstructive surgery and which left the girl with a small pale scar in one nostril.
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The girl was admitted to hospital for treatment to for a nasal obstruction. She underwent a procedure known as an 'elective bilateral tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy and submucosal diathermy to inferior turbinates'.
The surgeon employed a 'finger switch monopolar diathermy' with a disposal needle point which was drawn out of the patients nostril whilst still engaged.
The child sustained burns to both nostrils which lasted for 6 months.
Following the surgery, the child was transferred to a burns unit at a different hospital for treatment.
Treatment commenced with the twice daily application of antiseptic cream. However, as a result of a persistent notch in the alar rim to the child's right nostril, she needed further surgery and underwent a soft tissue reconstruction procedure under general anaesthetic.
It was maintained that the surgeon was negligent insofar as there was incorrect and inadequate use of diathermy during the procedure.
The child experienced embarrassment as a result of the disfigurement for four months whilst she waited for reconstructive surgery. Following reconstructive surgery the child was not embarrassed about the scar.
Following reconstructive surgery the child was left with was left with a permanent scar to the rim of her right nostril of around 1mm. The scar was unnoticeable from a conversational distance. The child was not suffering any on going pain. No scar was perceptible to her left nostril.
Conclusion and settlement
Liability was admitted and the matter did not progress to court.
Compensation was accepted by way of an out of Court settlement totalling £10,000.
£9,160 of the damages were attributed to .pain, suffering and loss of amenity'.
An additional 840 was awarded for past care costs, travel expenses and interest.
Accidents involving Children
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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.