We have recently settled a claim against Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust on behalf of a client who suffered from blistering to her left foot resulting from the negligent use of compression bandaging following knee replacement surgery.
Our client was admitted to the South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre at Epsom General Hospital for a total left knee replacement. She suffered from lymphedema (chronic swelling) and was advised that this would be managed at the time of the operation by the use of compression bandaging.
Following the surgery, she was admitted to the ward. During the day, she began to experience pain down her left leg, knee and foot, with the pain concentrated across the top of her left foot where she felt that the bandages had been applied very tightly. It felt as if the bandages were rubbing over raw skin causing soreness.
When she brought this to the attention of the nurses, our client was told that the compression bandaging needed to remain in place for 48 hours post-operatively. She repeatedly explained to the nurses that she thought the bandaging was too tight causing pain across her foot but her concerns were dismissed and it appears that they were not documented. She was given co-codamol and morphine to manage the pain.
The following day, the bandages were removed from our client’s left leg and foot. An area of redness was noted on the top of our client’s left foot which subsequently began to blister. Throughout the day, the blisters increased in size and began to fill with fluid. A referral was made to the tissue viability nurse who failed to attend.
Following discharge from hospital, the top of our client’s left foot became ulcerated. She contracted MRSA in what had become an open wound and endured several months of pain and discomfort. Our client has been left with tenderness, scarring, pigmentation and numbness to the top of her left foot, extending down to her toes. She has an area of indentation where the blisters had formed.
After putting forward our allegations of negligence to the defendant trust, it admitted that there was a failure to fully consider our client’s medical history of lymphedema and that this led to the development of the blistering. Following negotiations, we managed to secure a settlement for our client to compensate her for her injuries and financial losses.