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Failure To Treat Finger Infection Results In Amputation

Our client David fractured the base of his little right finger during a road traffic accident on 12 September 2007.  He was admitted to Airedale General Hospital on 22 September 2007, where he needed to undergo a procedure to reduce of the fracture under local anaesthetic.  An internal fixation of the fracture was performed with the insertion of K-wires.  After the procedure took place, David later developed an infection in his finger.
David was re-admitted to hospital overnight on 26 September 2007 and given a short course of intravenous antibiotics to treat the increasing pain he was suffering in his right hand.
The pain in David’s right little finger and hand continued.  He attended an outpatient clinic at the hospital on 5 October 2007 and was advised that they would review his progress in two weeks, when the K-wires were due to be removed.  No further antibiotics were prescribed.
On 9 October 2007, again David visited the Airedale General Hospital with continued pain and throbbing from his finger and right hand.  David was a sent away without any antibiotics and told to wait for to see what happened.
After experiencing more ongoing problems, on 12 October 2007 David was prescribed a course of oral antibiotics when he visited the hospital again.
David needed to visit Airedale General Hospital several times throughout October, then on 21 November 2007 he had an x-ray which showed a bone infection (called osteomyelitis) had spread into the bone on his right little finger.
Two weeks later David had virtually no movement in his finger, a further x-ray showed the bone infection was still there and that it had begun to show bone destruction in his right little finger.  On 8 January 2008, David had his finger amputated.
Since David’s amputation, he still has pain at the point the finger was removed and phantom limb pain from the missing finger. He has had to have time off work and is experiencing ongoing problems due to his reduced grip.
David instructed our Clinical Negligence team to pursue his claim of compensation against the Airedale NHS Trust for the suffering, pain and loss of amenity he suffered during his negligent treatment. 
We alleged that unsuitable antibiotics had been prescribed during David’s visits to the hospital.  Had appropriate antibiotics been prescribed then the infection would have been treated.  The infection would never have spread to the bone of the little finger and therefore removal of David’s finger would have been avoided. 
Margaret Ryan, Solicitor in our Clinical Negligence team in Leeds helped settles David’s case for the sum of £30,000.  Margaret said “The loss of David’s little finger continues to impact on his day to day life and it is devastating for him to know  that all of this could have been prevented had the hospital provided him with the appropriate antibiotics to treat the infection”.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of hospital negligence, we may be able to help you claim compensation. See our Medical Negligence Guide for more information.

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