A York grandfather has won a medical claim after he underwent emergency surgery for a perforated stomach ulcer that could have been avoided.
Albert Thomas, known as Fred, was prescribed the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen by his GP to treat his osteoarthritis.
Mr Thomas, 65, who owns Fred’s Bakery in South Bank, took the drug for more than a year but should have also been prescribed a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) to prevent gastrointestinal problems.
The grandfather of seven suffered a perforated duodenal ulcer in December 2012 and had an emergency laparotomy and repair of the ulcer at York Hospital.
He won his medical claim against his GP after experts said that on the balance of probabilities, had Mr Thomas been prescribed a PPI, he would not have suffered the perforated ulcer.
York-based Langleys Solicitors acted for Mr Thomas in his claim which was settled by his GP’s insurer.
Mr Thomas, who is married to Diane and lives in Holgate, is now warning other patients who are prescribed Naproxen to check they are also prescribed a PPI.
He said: “Since this happened to me I know several people on Naproxen who have gone back to their GPs to check they have been prescribed a PPI. I’ve had a terrible experience following the surgery and I’m glad the case is over but I really don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
Mr Thomas was admitted to York Hospital on 18 December 2012 after experiencing acute pain in his stomach. He said he had emergency surgery that evening and his family were told to expect the worse.
“I was in tears with the pain, it was that bad,” said Mr Thomas. “I still can’t do what I used to, I’m frightened of putting anything on my stomach which looks awful – I’ve got a very big scar.”
Andrew Cragg, a partner and head of medical law at Langleys, acted for Mr Thomas. He said: “Mr Thomas was prescribed the maximum dose of Naproxen over a prolonged period and as a result, was at high risk of serious gastrointestinal adverse events.
“This was a frightening experience, which Mr Thomas is still very much affected by. He would very much like to avoid such an experience happening to anyone else. Anyone with concerns over their medication should seek advice from their GP or treating medical practitioners.”
Mr Thomas owned Fred’s Bakery for 35 years but has now handed the business on to his sons, Andrew and Paul, and daughter, Kay.
He added: “I’ve had to slow down a lot since the operation and can’t do as much as I used to. The boys and Kay want to carry on with the bakery which is good and I will support them all I can.”