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Home > News > Medical negligence compensation after misdiagnosis results in leg amputation

5th July 2010

Medical negligence compensation after misdiagnosis results in leg amputation

A string of medical negligence errors and missed opportunities to correctly diagnose and treat this client resulted in the amputation of his lower leg. Despite repeated visits to his GP and his local A&E department, he was told on numerous occasions that the cause of the chronic pain in his leg was probably due to a torn or ripped muscle.

Even when tests were carried out, further errors were made. On one occasion, a DVT scan was carried out on the wrong part of his leg, naturally showing no sign of a problem.

Worsening symptoms due to prolonged medical negligence

Our client's symptoms had originally started with pain in one leg causing him considerable discomfort when walking. He then found that his leg would become cold on and off. The pain then spread to his foot, which also began to turn white when in the bath.

Each time there was deterioration in his symptoms, our client visited either his GP or his local A&E department. Each time he was told there was nothing wrong, given painkillers and told to rest.

Diagnosis of chronic ischaemia in both legs

After several weeks of severe pain and discomfort, he attended his A&E again and on this occasion it was noted by the examining doctor that hair had ceased to grow on our client's leg. A scan was taken of his foot and the doctor was unable to find a pulse, and discovered that the pulse in his other leg was also very weak.

At this stage, the decision was finally taken to admit him for a CT scan and further tests. The results of the scan signalled the start of urgent activity, which included several angiograms. These revealed that our client was in fact suffering from chronic ischaemia and had blood clots in both legs with gangrene in the worst affected foot.

Medical negligence resulted in the need for surgery

Over the next week or so, our client was treated with drugs to try to clear the clots. During his period he had to be admitted to the high dependency unit where he required a blood transfusion to treat the side effects of the medication he had been given.

When the drug treatments failed to clear the blood clots, he underwent several surgical procedures in an attempt to bypass the vein that was affected. Unfortunately, because his condition had been left untreated for such a lengthy period, and because of the location of one of the blood clots, none of these surgical procedures proved successful. It was eventually necessary to amputate the lower part of one of his legs.

Life changing impact of amputation

A relatively young man, the trauma of losing his leg has had devastating consequences for our client, causing employment and relationship problems. Now registered disabled, he will be permanently disadvantaged in the labour market where previously he was progressing down his chosen career path.

Court proceedings issued for medical negligence compensation

The first step if you believe you have suffered from medical negligence should always be to approach the person or organisation responsible for your condition. Our client had done this, but when an apology was not forthcoming, he approached us to see whether he had a valid claim for medical negligence compensation.

Our personal injury lawyers knew that he had, and represented him in bringing this claim to secure medical negligence compensation. Although court proceedings were issued against the NHS Trust, before the trial date we were able to negotiate over a quarter of a million pounds in medical negligence compensation for our client. However, this was not before we had advised him to reject the Trust's initial offer, which was less than half the final sum achieved. Part of this substantial sum in medial negligence compensation was awarded against his loss of income and congenial employment.

Making a medical negligence compensation claim

Telephone us now on 0800 783 9019 or complete one of our online compensation claim forms, and a representative will contact you as soon as possible.

Please go to our Costs and Risks section for information on how Clear Answers' specialist medical negligence team will handle your claim and funding.

Alternative funding arrangements may apply in Northern Ireland due to differing procedures and Law Society regulations.

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