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Home > News > Diabetic patient suffers pressure sores because of poor hospital care

20th May 2013

Diabetic patient suffers pressure sores because of poor hospital care

In this compensation claim for medical negligence our client underwent emergency surgery for a below the knee amputation following complications caused by diabetes.

As if this were not traumatic enough, the poor treatment he received in hospital whilst recovering from his surgery, resulted in his developing horrific pressure sores.

Our specialist medical negligence lawyers entered into strong negotiation with the NHS Trust and were successful in securing several thousand pounds of medical negligence compensation for our client.

Admitted to hospital – assessment of appropriate care not implemented

Our client is a tall gentleman, and given the reason for his stay in hospital (complications due to diabetes) and his immobility, an initial assessment of his needs was carried out and considered him to be high risk. However, although he was placed on a standard pressure mattress, it frequently deflated and he complained to staff that it was not supporting him sufficiently as he could feel the metalwork of the bed. No re-positioning regime was implemented despite the high risk assessment.

Transferred to ICU following amputation surgery

He had been in hospital for several days when his condition rapidly deteriorated. Emergency surgery was carried out to amputate the lower part of his leg, following which he was transferred to the intensive care unit. During his first week in ICU no re-positioning was carried out at all. During the second week, he was turned and at this point a note was added to his file by nursing staff, commenting that his sacrum (lower back) was black with pressure sores.

Our client underwent several more operations before surgeons were satisfied with his condition. He was then moved to another ward with the intention of putting him on a pressure mattress. However, due to his height no suitable bed was available. He was moved yet again to another ward where a suitable bed and pressure mattress was available.

His sores were now being treated and some slight improvement was noted. However, the dressings would often become detached and he would be left for several hours with no dressing at all.

Causes of pressure sores

When our client was first admitted, the decision to place him on a pressure mattress was correct. However, no account was taken of his size and that a standard mattress would be inadequate to support him correctly. Nor was an alarm fitted which would have alerted staff when the mattress began to deflate.

As he was virtually immobile, a regime of frequent re-positioning should also have been put in place straight away. Although a larger bed was ordered and some re-positioning was carried out, it was too late to be effective as the pressure sores had already developed.

Treatment of pressure sores

Following several weeks in hospital, our client was discharged and had to be provided at home with a bed and pressure mattress. The sores were extremely painful and uncomfortable and required extensive treatment. For many weeks he received daily visits from the district nurse, then every other day for several months. In all it took almost a year for his sores to heal and he has been left with a painful scar that still requires regular treatment.

Making a claim for medical negligence compensation

Clear Answers’ specialist medical negligence lawyers are waiting to provide you with expert legal advice. We specialise in all types of personal injury compensation claims, particularly those involving medical negligence.

If you or a family member has suffered a personal injury through no fault of your own, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and to talk you through the claims process in plain English. Alternatively, please complete one of our online compensation claim forms and a representative will contact you as quickly as possible.

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