A man has received a £800,000 in compensation, after failures by medical staff to diagnose and treat a spinal infection left him with a severe and permanent neurological disability.
Our client was initially admitted into hospital in May 2008, after complaining of severe back pain at the base of his spine. He was diagnosed as suffering from a variety of conditions including a slipped disc and severe arthritis. Despite the severity of the situation, the hospital failed to conduct the appropriate tests in order to diagnose the spinal infection, causing his condition to worsen.
Our client was later diagnosed with the spinal infection, discitis. Despite making this diagnosis, medical staff failed to act promptly in carrying out further tests in order to provide a treatment plan. Instead his treatment was pursued blindly with ‘best guess’ antibiotics and painkillers.
The infection impacted on his vertebrae, which put pressure on his nerves. This caused damage to his feet and bladder, and made it very difficult for him to walk. He has undergone further surgery on his feet to help his walking and he now relies on a Zimmer frame to get around. He is no longer able to enjoy his past hobbies, which included gardening, DIY and horse-riding.
Julie Lewis, a partner from Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office represented the man and brought the case against the defendant hospital trust. The Clinical Negligence team instructed medical experts who concluded that his chronic disability had occurred because the spinal infection had been able to manifest itself over a number of weeks. If his symptoms had been treated appropriately, he would not have suffered such a severe, long-term disability.
The trust in question admitted that there had been a negligent failure to establish a correct diagnosis and treat the condition appropriately. They also admitted that this negligent treatment caused his injuries.
The compensation secured by Julie Lewis and her team has allowed our client to have his home adapted to his needs and given him access to treatment and therapies he needs. He now requires a significant amount of care but his compensation will go towards employing a professional carer to help support his wife, who was struggling to cope alone.
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