Clinical Negligence

Failure to treat MRSA leads to patellectomy

Jenny Hawkes, specialist clinical negligence/personal injury lawyer acting for the claimant successfully obtained an out-of-court settlement of £420,000 to compensate the claimant for pain and suffering and to pay for future care needs.

The claimant, aged 62, fell from a step in his kitchen, injuring his left knee.  He was admitted to Tunbridge Wells Hospital and an x-ray showed a grossly displaced fracture through the left patella (kneecap).

He underwent surgery to fix the fracture. Following surgery, on the ward, he became unwell with a fever for several days.  He subsequently tested positive for MRSA.  There was a delay in starting decolonisation therapy and starting antibiotics.  When antibiotics were started, they were not effective against MRSA.

As a result, the claimant suffered an MRSA infection in the knee joint leading to the need for a complete patellectomy (kneecap removal).

As a result of his injuries, the claimant was reliant on a full knee brace to mobilise and had significant care needs.  It was recommended that he have single storey accommodation.

An admission of liability was secured from the defendant without having to issue court proceedings.  The defendant admitted a delay in starting decolonisation therapy and antibiotics effective against MRSA and that the patellectomy would have been avoided.  The defendant sent a letter of apology to the claimant.

The defendant argued that the claimant would have required care and single storey accommodation in any event due to a previous stroke and left sided weakness.  However, the claimant’s case was that his care needs had significantly increased and he would not have moved from his current property but for the negligence.

An out of court settlement was agreed at £420,000.

Jenny Waight 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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