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Claimant awarded £18,000 following development of pressure sores in hospital

13 Feb 2019

Sophie Moss, Solicitor in our Clinical Negligence team at Hay & Kilner, acted on behalf of a client who was awarded £18,000 on behalf of the Estate of her late husband.

In June 2015, the Deceased was diagnosed with critical ischaemia to the left lower leg and extensive arterial disease. He underwent stenting of the left iliac artery, left common femoral endarterectomy and left femoro-popliteal bypass in October 2015.

Post-operatively, the Deceased complained of pain at the top of his buttocks. On examination, at the site of the pain there was a small red mark but he was advised by the clinicians that it was nothing to worry about.

Three days after the operation, the Deceased was still complaining of worsening pain at the top of his buttocks and a pressure sore was noted, categorised at grade II. Within approximately a week, the pressure sore was noted to have deteriorated to grade III. He was subsequently discharged home in early November 2015.

A little over a week after his discharge home, the Deceased was readmitted to hospital for a groin infection. Sadly, it was noted that despite stenting, his left leg remained ischaemic and he underwent a left above the knee amputation.

In early January 2016, whilst still an inpatient in hospital, the presence of a new pressure sore was noted on the Deceased’s hip, categorised as grade II. He was subsequently discharged home in early April 2016 and was referred to the District Nursing team for ongoing wound care in the community.

In mid-April 2016, during a GP home visit, the pressure sores on his sacrum and hip were noted to be infected and necrotic. He was reviewed in hospital by the Vascular team and was prescribed antibiotics. However, he was advised there was little that could be done in respect of the pressure sores. His overall condition sadly deteriorated and he passed away in May 2016.

We obtained supportive medical evidence from a Nurse Practitioner and Consultant Vascular Surgeon and submitted a Letter of Claim to the Trust alleging that the nursing care was substandard and had resulted in the development of pressure sores.

In the Letter of Response, the Trust admitted several breaches of duty including a failure to accurately assess the Deceased’s pressure sore risk throughout his admission; failure to repeat risk assessments at timely intervals; failure to devise and implement any or any suitable prevention care plan; failure to ensure a prescribed repositioning regime was implemented; failure to provide a dynamic air mattress; substandard reporting of wound assessments and care planning; failure to undertake and/or document daily skin inspections and a failure to establish the grade of any pressure sore and to provide appropriate care in response to the same. It was accepted that as a result of the breaches of duty, the Deceased developed a pressure sore on his sacrum which deteriorated to grade III and a pressure sore on his right rip, categorised at grade II, with associated pain in these areas.

Following receipt of the Letter of Response, we were successful in negotiating compensation totalling £18,000 in full and final settlement in respect of the Deceased’s pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

For more information on any of the above, or if you have suffered as a result of clinical negligence, please contact Sophie Moss, Solicitor in our Clinical Negligence team.