Clinical Negligence

Paraplegic suffers from grade 4 pressure sores as a result of negligence by three defendants

Jenny Waight, specialist clinical negligence lawyer acting for the claimant successfully obtained an out of court settlement of £50,000 to compensate the claimant for their pain and suffering.

The claimant is paraplegic due to being born with spina bifida.  He moved to Home Beach Care Home, Bognor Regis.  On admission he was noted to have redness on his sacrum but the only noted action was to “observe”.  6 days later he had noted to have developed at grade 2 pressure ulcer measuring 6 x 7cm on the left buttock.  He was provided with an air mattress and a plan for 4 hourly turns and regular dressings.  The pressure sore was later noted to be a grade 3.

6 weeks later the claimant went to live at Abbots Wood in an independent flat supported by district nurses and carers.  The claimant’s pressure ulcer deteriorated.  He was diagnosed with grade 4 pressure ulcer, sepsis and acute kidney injury and underwent surgical debridement.  It was noted that there was a 10 x 10 x 6cm necrotic wound.  He remained in Worthing Hospital and was then discharged and returned back to Abbots Wood.  5 months later the claimant had deteriorated again and was admitted to the Oxford Bone Unit and underwent excision of pressure ulcer and resection of ischial tuberosity and ischial ramus soft tissue reconstruction with local muscle flap.  He underwent further evacuation of a haematoma and resuture of the wound.  He had further surgery for further flap defect right ischium and right hamstrings with fasciocutaneous advancement.

The wound opened up again and did not fully heal for 15 months after it first developed.

Allegations against the first defendant included a failure to treat redness on the sacrum and undertake any proper care plan and risk assessment in relation to pressure ulcer.  Even when 4 hourly turns were planned, these were not always carried out.

Allegations against the district nurses and carers included failure to adequately follow up and treat the claimant’ pressure sore following his move to Abbots Wood and failed to undertake regular wound assessments, initial frequent repositioning.

Home Beach Care Home made partial admissions but the second and third defendants denied liability in full.  The matter was complicated by the third defendant, Allied Healthcare (on behalf of the carers at Abbots Wood) entering into administration and insurance refused to cover the claim as the claim was within an agreed excess.

The case settled for the global sum of £50,000 to compensate the claimant for his prolonged pain and suffering.  He was at increased risk of pressure ulcers in the future.

Jenny Waight specialises in pressure sore cases.  If you would like to ask Jenny a question about a potential case or if you have a general query about any clinical negligence, contact Jenny Waight at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701374 in confidence.

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