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Clinical Negligence Pressure Sores Claim Results in £12,500 Compensation

11 July 2012

In this Medical Negligence case, Clinical Negligence Solicitor Iona Meeres-Young successfully represented a woman who suffered from pressure sores due to negligent hospital treatment.

On 24th January 2009 our client was admitted to the Defendant’s hospital for the delivery of her second child. Our client was 40 plus weeks pregnant. In the early hours of 25th January 2009 our client was taken to the delivery suite to be induced. An epidural anaesthetic was sited at 02:25 hours. Our clients daughter was born at 06:19 hours on 25th January 2009.

Later that day at 16:00 hours, it was noted that our client had a rash on both buttocks. At 18:00 hours the staff discovered ulcers to her sacrum and requested that our client be seen and assessed by the on call SHO. At 18:30 hours the SHO noted that she had a purple bruised area over the sacrum, approximately 5cm of small blistered areas on the natal cleft. The ulcers were dressed with tegaderm.

The senior midwife was notified and a pressure relieving mattress was instructed, but never materialised. Our client was reviewed by the senior midwife and the pressure ulcer was dressed. On 26th January 2009 our client was referred to the wound care nurse. The wound care nurse spoke with the midwifery staff and elected not to review our client. Further treatment was limited to dressing the ulcers. Our client was discharged home on 29th January 2009 with the pressure ulcers still present and being treated.

Our client saw her GP on 16th February 2009 and noted that there was an area of ulcerated skin on her left buttock with an approximate area of 2-3cm.

It was submitted that the Defendant’s care staff fell below a standard of care which would not be supported as acceptable by reasonable body of medical opinion.

There was a failure to carry out a clinical assessment on admission; failure to recognise the Our clients risk of pressure ulcer development; failure to record the finding.

Our client was immobile and was undergoing induced labour and in all probability lying on a delivery trolley on her back. Our clients risk status was increased because she underwent a spinal anaesthetic to aid pain relief during labour. In effect the spinal anaesthetic induced neurological deficit, thus our client would not have been able to move her position freely nor feel the onset of persistent pain. The care staff should have clinically identified our client as being at high risk of pressure ulcer development. There is no reference in the clinical records that any clinical risk assessment was carried out.

There was a failure to properly undertake any care to prevent the development of pressure ulcer or prevent the ulcers from becoming worse once they appeared to develop at 16:00 hours on 26th January 2009 and furthermore, there was a failure to provide any pressure relieving devices by way of a variable airflow mattress or a pressure relieving gel cushion as to prevent the ulcer becoming worse and failure to implement a pressure ulcer treatment plan by way of regular skin inspections and a repositioning regimen which should then have been recorded in the clinical notes.

In order to consider our clients condition instructions were submitted to a Nurse Consultant, an expert witness and a Plastic Reconstructive and Anaesthetic Surgeon to prepare reports on our clients condition.

A medical expert’s report stated that the bilateral pressure sores were as a result of unrelieved pressure.

The Defendants outlined an admission of liability and proposed to conclude the pressure sores claim for £10,000 compensation. Further negotiations between the parties were thereafter entered into with final settlement being achieved in the amount of £12,500 compensation.

Iona Meeres-Young is a Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation for people injured by hospital accidents and medical mistakes. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help you. Offices across England, Scotland & Wales.