Vendée: The hospital must compensate a family after a child’s failed operation

A new refractive surgery center will open its doors in May 2022 in Mont-Saint-Aignan.
A new refractive surgery center will open its doors in May 2022 in Mont-Saint-Aignan. ©Margot Nicodème

that The administrative court of Nantes ordered the hospital of La-Roche-sur-Yon and the National Office for Compensation for Medical Accidents (Oniam) to pay almost 290,000 euros to a family in Sainte-Flaive-des-Loupsin Vendéefollowing complications Experienced by one of his children in 2007.

As a reminder, Laurent and Géraldine’s son – now 21 – was hospitalized at the age of 7 by his doctor his severe migraines. But the complications that had followed him Surgery at the La Roche-sur-Yon hospitalon October 23, 2007, had resulted in a severe meningitis pneumococci.

Operated by an otolaryngologist, the child had actually “returned home the next day” while still suffering from a headache. During the control visit seven days later, the surgeon found a “reduction in the frequency of headaches”, but “inflammation of the left nasal cavity”, reports the Administrative Court of Nantes.

Finally, only a year later, in the summer of 2008, “after a lumbar puncture” “bacterial meningitis” was brought to light and by the University Hospital of Limoges (Haute-Vienne), where he was on vacation.

The MRI then showed the presence of an “osteomeningeal injury”, i.e. a lesion resulting from a head trauma.

An “extraordinary complication”

In their judgment of March 7, 2022, the judges of the Administrative Court of Nantes initially consider the first operation in La Roche-sur-Yon to be justified.

The “extraordinary complication” of the child also shows a “particularly low probability”; his damage should therefore normally have been fully covered by the National Office for Compensation for Medical Accidents (Oniam).

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However (…), the type of intervention performed on October 23, 2007 can be performed under a Digi-Pointer or under a Neuronavigator since 2000, these techniques allowing the surgeon to work from a computer benefit representation of the instrument endonosal in several dimensions.

The Administrative Court of Nantes

However, the surgeon had refrained from doing so…

“The surgeon still made a mistake”

“By not using a digi-pointer (…) that would have allowed him a better view during the intervention (…) while the latter was performed on a 7-year-old child without a neurologist and in an area that is at the borders of the brain the surgeon of the departmental hospital center of the Vendée has made a mistake”, concludes the judiciary.

The young man, now 21, has serious consequences: he suffers from “neurological disorders” characterized by “a tendency to move sideways to the left when walking”, a certain “instability when standing on one foot” or even “a tremor” posture of the lower extremities”, “disorientation and memory disorders” and loss of smell on the left side.

prejudice in school

His “school prejudice” is also documented: While he “had no problems from a school point of view before the intervention” and “could read and write without difficulty”, his reading was “difficult” with “comprehension disorders”, “simplified”. phonetic writing” and “limited academic attention span and working memory”.

“The person concerned had to switch from high school to the professional sector (…) and interrupt his studies after obtaining the vocational baccalaureate”, the Administrative Court of Nantes states, even if this former judoka “never repeated”.

A 10-inch scar on his face

The compensation granted to him also takes into account the “suffering endured” related to his “sleep disorders” and his “nocturnal awakenings”, but also his “aesthetic damage” related to “a 27 cm scar (…) on his face”.

This also includes the “affectionate damage” of his parents in view of “the observation of the deterioration of their son’s health” and “their impossibility to look after their other two children under normal conditions”. The latter were also compensated for the “disruptions in family life due to their brother’s disability”, linked to the “increased mobilization of their parents” towards him and the “change in the relationships they may have with their brother”.

In the end, Oniam and the La Roche-sur-Yon hospital together have to pay €258,000 to the young man and just over €33,000 to the rest of his family. In addition, they have to contribute to the costs of the report in the amount of 5,100 €. The hospital center also has to pay €16,000 to the Primary Health Insurance Fund (CPAM) for the healthcare costs it pays.

Finally, the court of Nantes ordered a medical report from a neurologist and an occupational therapist to assess the long-term consequences and to “specify” the young man’s “degree of autonomy” insofar as he did not sufficiently inform himself in the “not” considered. state by specific requests.

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