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This article was published on March 17th, 2014
A woman has been awarded a seven figure compensation sum for having an avoidable leg amputation.
The nightmare began back in 2009 when the mum of three went into Grantham and District Hospital for routine surgery to remove varicose veins from her left leg.
The Grantham and District Hospital and Lincoln County Hospital admitted failing to spot that she was suffering from a serious condition known as compartment syndrome – where blood builds up in the leg causing it to swell – but also failed to act on it for eight hours which made the condition worse.
The hospital staff failed to spot excessive swelling in her leg that was systematic of a post op complication which involves a dangerous and very painful build up of blood in the leg. She experienced these complications following the surgery for nearly 8 hours and it is this delay which had a knock on effect to the patient’s recovery.
The investigation found that due to the delays in realising she had compartment syndrome this meant her treatment for the condition was less effective. She was taken to Lincoln County Hospital for further surgery to reduce the pressure; however the damage had been done.
The Grantham and District Hospital and Lincoln County Hospital admitted to failing to offer the patient any physiotherapy or even a splint for her left foot for three months. This poor after care led to irreparable damage to the tendons in her calf and heel and caused a secondary condition called ‘dropped foot,’. Dropped foot is a painful condition where the foot becomes twisted with loss of movement in the ankle and toes.
The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust admitted to failings in her after care which then led to further complications and ultimately resulted in the patient making the very upsetting decision to amputate the lower part of her leg. She has now got to use a wheelchair and a prosthetic and needs a specially adapted home as a result of the amputation.
The woman has now received an interim payment to assist in the purchase of a bungalow which was adapted to her needs and to allow wheelchair access. The seven figure compensation award will go some way to helping with the expensive care and support that she will need for the rest of her life.
The patient said: “It’s been five years since I went in for my routine operation. The last few years have been dreadfully painful and the most upsetting of my life.
“I still have nightmares about the whole ordeal and it still makes me angry that the entire situation could have been avoided had I been given the correct standard of care I deserve.
“I am just relieved this is all over and I hope that the Trust learns from this and sincerely hope that this situation never happens to anyone else.”
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