In 2011 Mr P was involved in a road traffic accident when the car he was driving collided with a tree. He sustained significant injuries including a cervical spinal cord injury. As a result of that injury he was rendered tetraplegic (paralysed in all four limbs). After a lengthy hospital stay he moved to his own ground floor property and instructed Active Assistance to provide live-in carers to support him.
In December 2012 the carer noted that he was experiencing “pain as a result of increased spasms”. Mr P was aware that increased spasms indicated that something was wrong in his body. Two days later the carer noted pressure sores on the outside of each ankle.
Mr P attended his GP who noted that each of the sores was about the size of 10p piece. He was referred to the district nurse/tissue viability nurse in the community who assessed the ulcers as grade 4 (worst grade possible). The pressure sores coincided with a significant increase in spasticity and whole body spasms which affected Mr P throughout the day and night. Over the following weeks, he was regularly visited by community nurses.
By September 2016 Stoke Mandeville Hospital noted that the pressure sores had healed.
Mr P instructed Oliver Chapman, specialist clinical negligence lawyer, who invited the care agency to admit breach of duty for the development of the pressure sores, which they duly did. Oliver subsequently obtained evidence from a consultant spinal surgeon to explain the pain and spasms Mr P was experiencing, despite being tetraplegic. It was his case that the pressure sores had caused Mr P’s body to suffer significant spasms and to develop pain around his back which spread to his lower abdomen.
The case settled for £8,000 to compensate for Mr P’s pain and suffering experienced over a period of about seven months.
Oliver Chapman specialises in pressure sore cases. If you would like to ask him a question about a potential case or if you have a general query about any clinical negligence, please contact Oliver at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701234 in confidence.