Penningtons Manches’ clinical negligence team has settled a claim against Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust on behalf of the daughter of a man from Ilford in Essex who died following a negligent delay in recognising serious infection and in administering appropriate antibiotics.
The patient was admitted to Queen’s Hospital, Romford, on 19 July 2010 with a suspected lower limb abscess. After an ultrasound examination on 21 July, the lump was considered more likely to be a tumour. On 22 July a request for an MRI scan was made. This was performed on 27 July and reported on 28 July. A sarcoma diagnosis was considered likely and it was recommended that the patient should be transferred to Stanmore Hospital to receive treatment.
Stanmore Hospital requested that a CT scan be carried out before the transfer. However, unfortunately, the patient developed a lower limb DVT on 2 August as no DVT risk assessment had been undertaken and no prophylactic anticoagulation or pressure stockings had been provided.
He became very unwell on 10 August and was at first thought to be suffering from pulmonary embolism although he was subsequently diagnosed as suffering from an infection. He was not treated with intravenous antibiotics until 13 August. Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated further and he died on 31 August 2010.
His family made a formal complaint to the hospital and were invited to attend a Local Resolution Meeting. During this meeting, the hospital recognised a number of criticisms in their care. A claim was subsequently made against Queen’s Hospital for its delay in commencing intravenous antibiotics prior to 13 August 2010. On service of proceedings, the trust admitted that it failed to diagnose the patient’s developing sepsis and begin intravenous antibiotic treatment on 10 August 2010. However, it denied that this was the cause of death and the case was subsequently settled without that admission.
Penningtons Manches clinical negligence associate Rebecca Morgan, who acted for the claimant, commented: “My client will never be able to replace her father and no amount of compensation will make up for the fact that he is no longer in her life. However, by pursuing this negligence claim, she has had some of her questions answered and the settlement brings her some closure.”