Loss of kidneys due to Wegener's granulomatosis

Kevin Finneran, clinical negligence solicitor at Michelmores LLP, has dealt with several cases involving a rare vascular disease known as Wegener's granulomatosis (WG).

The disease is characterised by inflammation of various tissues and blood vessels. The inflammation damages vital organs in the body. The symptoms are usually in the upper respiratory tract and include runny nose, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, facial pain and nose bleeds.

The disease can affect people at any age. It is a rare disease but the cases that Kevin has dealt with usually involve a delay in diagnosis of WG. In one case the hospital made a three way differential diagnosis which included vasculitis.   Unfortunately the clinicians concentrated on the 2 other diagnoses which resulted in delay in the correct diagnosis of the WG and treatment. Unfortunately clinicians further compromised the situation by giving the patient an inadequate dose of corticosteroids which ultimately led to renal failure and lifelong kidney dialysis. Kevin obtained expert evidence as to both liability and his client's prognosis. A six figure sum was achieved in settlement.

Delay in diagnosis of WG is not uncommon. In another case, Kevin found that though the hospital concerned attempted a whole battery of tests they failed to select the right diagnostic test (the ANCA (Antineutrophilcytoplasm Assay)). The patient became frustrated with his treatment and went to Sweden and Ireland in an attempt to diagnose his condition. Unfortunately by the time of his diagnosis it was difficult to prove which health organisation was responsible for his renal failure.

sThe longer WG remains undiagnosed the greater the threat of renal failure and other symptoms increases. By obtaining expert opinion from various professors of nephrology (specialists the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the kidney). Kevin has been able to establish claims for various clients in relation to WG.

If you require any assistance or wish to discuss any potential claim then please telephone Kevin Finneran or other members of the Michelmores LLP's clinical negligence team on 01392 688688 (or free phone  0800 073 0140).