The supreme court on Friday awarded a 76-year-old woman who was left completely paralysed following unsuccessful spine surgery in 2006 €450,000 in compensation, payable by the private doctor who carried out the operation.
According to daily newspaper Phileleftheros, the court found negligence on behalf of the doctor who operated on the then 64-year-old woman’s spine twice at a private hospital. The operations took place in March and May of 2006.
Following the second operation, the woman reportedly went into coma and when she awoke, she was diagnosed with severe damage to the brain that caused her quadriplegia.
According to Phileleftheros the woman claimed that the defendant did not follow the proper medical practice regarding the intraoperative discography procedure she underwent, resulting in a flow of toxic material from the epidural space of the spinal cord to the subarachnoid space through the catheter linking the two sites.
The court said the toxic material entered the brain through rupture of the meninges, which was a possibility and which the doctor should have foreseen and take preventive measures against. It also acquitted the private hospital where the operation took place.
The woman filed an appeal to the supreme court following the initial court ruling in 2011 which, although it located the error, did not attribute any responsibility to the doctor.