Tom* required an above the knee leg amputation after a diabetic foot ulcer turned septic following a series of misdiagnoses. Our medical negligence solicitors investigated Tom’s treatment and obtained compensation which has allowed him to fund prosthetics and rehabilitation and given Tom financial security for the future.
Tom, a retired police officer, had a history of type two diabetes and was also recovering from colonic cancer.
He enjoyed making the most of his retirement by going on long dog walks in the countryside and spending time with his wife, Julie*. He also enjoyed keeping active with gardening and jobs round the house.
In July 2014, Tom noticed a large blister on his left big toe which was becoming increasingly painful. Tom consulted his oncologist, by which point he had developed cellulitis. His leg became infected and swollen, causing him serious discomfort.
Tom was prescribed antibiotics to combat the infection. However, his leg continued worsen and was so red, inflamed, and painful that he couldn’t enjoy his birthday shortly after.
Tom attended A&E, where medical staff completed multiple blood tests and scans, and he was later informed that he was suffering from gout.
Tom was then discharged from hospital, however his leg hadn’t improved and the blister on his toe began to discharge pus. A week later, he went to his GP who noted that that the wound wasn’t healing and they took a swab for further testing.
A few days later, Tom went back to his GP as his health was rapidly deteriorating. He was feeling feverish, and had fainted and vomited. His GP neither examined Tom’s foot nor took his vital signs. They repeated the gout diagnosis and sent Tom home.
That weekend, Tom continued to feel increasing unwell. He couldn’t bear any weight at all on his leg and stayed in bed with fever and vomiting. On Monday, Tom called an ambulance and he returned to hospital.
By the time he was admitted, Tom’s blister had become an open lesion with maggots.
Tom was in a serious condition and hospital staff now diagnosed him with a septic diabetic foot. Sadly, the only viable course of treatment left at this late stage was an above the knee amputation.
After recuperating from the surgery, Tom contacted our specialist medical negligence team about making a compensation claim. Associate Solicitor Alexandra Winch began working with Tom and Julie to uncover what had gone wrong during his treatment.
Alexandra found that medical staff had failed to follow NICE guidelines for diabetic foot problems. If they had followed the prescribed guidelines, Tom would have received conservative treatment with IV antibiotics to treat his infection and avoided the amputation.
Together, they started a compensation claim against both the hospital and Tom’s GP for a failure to follow appropriate guidelines which lead to a life-changing injury for Tom.
Both the hospital and Tom’s GP denied liability for Tom’s situation, meaning Tom could not access interim compensation payments while the case continued to fund prosthetics or rehabilitation.
Tom showed incredible determination and made fantastic progress with NHS prosthetics, however he wanted to buy more suitable prosthetics to enable him to get back to walking longer distances with his beloved dog.
The case continued and Alexandra successfully agreed an out-of-court settlement with the defendants one month before trial.
The six-figure compensation settlement has helped Tom pay for better prosthetics and rehabilitation to aid his recovery. It has also given him and his wife, Julie, financial peace of mind moving forward.
“For Tom to have to go through so much unavoidable pain and suffering is completely unacceptable” said Alexandra. “I’m delighted we were eventually able to secure Tom and his family the compensation that they deserve.”
If you or a loved one has been affected by sepsis, we may be able to help you make a sepsis compensation claim. Please contact our expert team online or by calling 0370 1500 100.
*Names have been changed
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