Clinical negligence team recovers £20,000 damages for avoidable hospital-acquired pressure sore

Posted: 18/11/2013


The Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team has recovered £20,000.00 from the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital NHS Trust to compensate a client, Mrs C, for the avoidable pain and suffering from the pressure ulcer she developed and the dehydration and malnutrition she experienced. Mrs C attended Queen’s Hospital, Romford, Essex when she developed hip pain and, on her second attendance on 15 April 2011, she was admitted for hip replacement surgery and subsequently transferred to the orthopaedic ward to recover.

During her time on the ward, Mrs C’s family raised concerns about the nursing care she was receiving and, in particular, the fact that they felt their mother was becoming dehydrated and losing weight. Overall, she lost between seven and 10 kilos before she was discharged home.

A grade 4 pressure sore on her heel was also discovered 18 days after her surgery. This was excruciatingly painful for her as her tendon and bone were exposed. The sore ultimately took a year to heal and Mrs C has been left with what is likely to be permanent scarring. Her recovery from her orthopaedic surgery was also affected and she has not regained the same level of mobility that she otherwise may have done.

Our investigation uncovered that, in total, nine separate patients developed avoidable hospital-acquired pressure sores in the orthopaedic wards within the trust between 1 April and 30 June 2011, suggesting that failures in nursing care were endemic at that time.

Helen Hammond, associate in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches LLP, said: “Evidence suggests that 95% of all pressure sores are avoidable if they are correctly assessed and preventative measures are put in place. All too often this assessment is not undertaken or is carried out incorrectly and we end up investigating clinical negligence cases like this one”.


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