Clinical Negligence

Claimant suffers pressure sores after 13 hour wait on a trolley in A&E

Jenny Hawkes, specialist clinical negligence lawyer acting for the claimant, successfully obtained an out-of-court settlement of £75,000 to compensate the claimant for pain and suffering and to pay for future care needs.

The claimant was aged 68 when he was admitted to A&E at the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford with a two month history of leg swelling, reduced mobility, reduced appetite and swollen wrists.  He had a history of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

He was admitted with potential problems noted as Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and possible sepsis.  He was referred to the medical team, but was not handed over for 13 hours, during which time he was left on a trolley.  The claimant’s mobility was significantly reduced and he was unable to re-position himself.

The claimant was at high risk of pressure sores due to his lack of mobility and MS.  As a result of a lack of assessment, prolonged time without re-positioning and a lack of pressure care, the claimant sustained a Grade 3 pressure sore to his sacrum which became necrotic as well as damage to his heels.

The claimant had a painful debridement of the wound and was treated with IV antibiotics.  Once discharged from hospital, he required daily wound dressings (initially provided by the district nurses and then his wife) and the pressure sore took some 9 months to heal.

A claim was brought against East Kent University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for damages for pain and suffering and for future care and treatment needs on a private basis given his significantly increased vulnerability of suffering a further pressure sore.

Expert evidence confirmed that the claimant had an increased risk of a sacral pressure sore in the future due to the scarring and his vulnerability was increased by his MS.  Should he suffer a further pressure sore, his likely future immobility arising from his MS meant that the pressure sore would be unlikely to heal.

The defendant initially denied liability but later accepted failings and provided a letter of apology.  The case settled for damages of £75,000.

Jenny Hawkes specialises in clinical negligence cases.  If you would like to ask Jenny a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any personal injury, contact her at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701374 in confidence. We offer no win no fee agreements on the vast majority of our clinical negligence and personal injury cases.

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