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Care Home Resident Loses Leg After Pressure Sore Left Untreated

19 June 2015

Care home resident receives £40,000 after a pressure sore was left untreated.

Slater and Gordon Solicitor: James Bell is a Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.

James is highly experienced in all areas of clinical negligence and has also handled complex multi-claimant actions that have included acting on behalf of many of the injured and bereaved connected to the Ladbroke Grove and Potters Bar train crashes.

Settlement Value: £40,000

What happened: James received instructions from the representatives of an elderly man who broke his left leg in a fall at his nursing home in South London.

James’s client was taken to his local accident and emergency department within 24 hours of his fall and underwent surgery on his left femur. When he was discharged back to his care home, it was noted that he had a black mark on his left heel. Whilst in the care of his nursing home, the black mark developed into a pressure sore.

The care home staff faxed a referral notice to the Tissue Viability Nurse at their local hospital, but unfortunately the wrong fax number was used and the Tissue Viability Nurse did not receive the referral notice. No action was taken for more than four weeks and during this time, the man’s condition deteriorated.

Eventually, due to the severe progression of the pressure sore, an urgent referral was made to the Tissue Viability Nurse who eventually attended the nursing home. She noted the extreme condition of James’s client and the fact that he had developed a Grade 4 pressure sore which was causing him incredible pain.

Impact: Due to the extent of the pressure sore’s deterioration, James’s client had to undergo an above knee amputation of his left leg. He was left immobile for a period of time as a result, and was eventually discharged back to his care home.

Sadly James’s client died in March 2013 due to pneumonia. The man’s family maintain this was caused by his lack of mobility.

Decision: James successfully concluded the claim against the care home and the treating NHS hospital. After lengthy negotiations, damages were agreed in the sum of £40,000 on behalf of the claimant’s estate.

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