Saint-Brieuc: operated on for an ablation of the intestine, the sexagenarian was quadriplegic

A 60-year-old girl became quadriplegic after complications following her operation at Saint-Brieuc Hospital in August 2010. © Yann ANDRE

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Nantes sentenced the National Office for Compensation for Medical Accidents (Oniam) to pay about 925,000 euros to a sixty-year-old woman who became quadriplegic after the complications that followed his operation at the hospital in Nantes. Saint-Brieuc (Cotes-d’Armor)) August 2010. Hospital liability is not compromised.

A colon operation failed

A 72-year-old Saint-Brieuc neighbor was initially admitted to have a part of her colon removed after several polyps were discovered in her intestines.

But an “accidental perforation” of the small intestine had been at the origin of a peritonitis, complicated by a “septic shock state” that requires two more operations. “Long-term care in the intensive care unit” had been needed to “address the succession of serious complications that he had “tied his vital prognosis“, recall the judges of Nantes.

In this case, the Rennes administrative court sentenced Oniam in November 2020 to pay 836,000 euros and a “quarterly annuity” of just over 27,000 euros. But the organization had appealed against the ruling, calling for a new expertise to “determine the causes of the medical accident” and therefore possibly take responsibility for the hospital.

4 million euros requested

For her part, the patient had asked the Administrative Court of Appeal of Nantes to increase Oniam’s sentence to about 4 million euros, ie the total amount of damages he considers linked to this medical accident.

“Nicole X has it tetraplegia and of severe neurological sequelae and suffers from speech disorders, ”recalls the contentious court in a ruling of February 4, 2022 that has just been made public. However, the experts’ conclusions are “clear and unequivocal,” according to the judges: ” no fault likely to compromise the responsibility of the Saint-Brieuc hospital was admitted during the patient’s hospitalization in 2010.

The removal of part of the large intestine was, in fact, “justified” to “prevent the onset of colon cancer” given the “background” of the person concerned and “the impossibility of performing a complete ablation of the tumor. under endoscopy “.

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“Postoperative care (…) was constantly aware, attentive (…) and in accordance with the data acquired from science,” the court reiterated.

A disability “disproportionate” to the risks he ran

“He severity of the disability What is still affected is disproportionate to its initial state “, the Nantes court also points out. “Complications related to peritonitis are significantly more severe than those to which the patient was likely to be exposed in the short term in the absence of treatment.”

In these conditions, the judges of Nantes increased the amount that Oniam will have to pay him to 925,000 euros and the amount of his ” annuity “quarterly.

“Without the help of a third person, he cannot perform the most basic gestures of daily life such as getting up or going to bed, washing, dressing or undressing, preparing meals, feeding go to the bathroom, ”the court recalls.

He had to move and change cars

“Walking is impossible for her and she can only move in a wheelchair, partially and with difficulty maneuvering the electric, which requires assistance and supervision for delicate maneuvers,” he adds. Your state of health therefore requires a ” continuous monitoring“, Even at night”: needs human help “19 hours” a day. “He can’t manage his own safety in the event of a major problem,” his occupational therapist had also stressed.

The compensation withheld by the judges therefore takes into account the “dynamic technical assistance” from which it benefits from its right arm: at a cost of 15,600 euros, this device aims to “significantly increase the functional capabilities of its senior members.” It also includes part of the adaptation costs of the patient’s accommodation, who until then lived in a first-floor apartment without a lift and who had to buy a house as a result in 2014.

“If the move it is inherent in the consequences of the medical accident (…), the house acquired (…) has, however, a higher level than the flat ”, the judges point out to justify the limitation of this damage to 30,000 euros. Oniam will also have to pay 49,000 euros for the cost of the Renault Trafic he had to buy in July 2016.

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