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In a Reported case Mr Simon settles his medical negligence claim for £255,000.00

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Circumstances of the Claim

Mr Simon, went to work as usual, but an hour into his shift he experienced a sudden, sharp cold pain in his foot. He couldn’t walk any more than 200 yards without being in pain.

He contacted his GP and was prescribed painkillers, referred for blood tests and asked to return two weeks later. He attended Kettering General Hospital A&E department on 17th September because his symptoms had increased and he could not sleep. There he was prescribed pain relief and reassured it would ‘get better’. During that A&E admission, no-one checked for pulses in the main leg arteries around the foot which was significant as it turned out that Mr Simon was in fact suffering from severe ischemia (a lack of blood flow).

After three doctors’ appointments and more than a month after his first appointment he was referred to Northampton General Hospital where a vascular surgeon finally diagnosed critical ischemia. He was referred for an angiogram (a type of x-ray that is used to examine blood flow) but simply sent home. A week later, on 10 October 2008, it was confirmed that two of the main arteries in his foot were blocked.

At each visit to his doctors, Mr Simon complained consistently of severe pain in his foot, which increased to the point where he could not sleep at night, could not work and could not walk without assistance from his wife. By December, he was suffering from necrosis of the toes and a mid-foot amputation was performed. However by this time his calf had also started to die with no chance of being saved, so a full below the knee limb amputation was completed.

The consequence was that after almost five months and 15 visits to medical professionals, three stays in hospital and three surgical procedures including two amputations, Mr Simon was left unable to walk unaided and for long periods of time, unable to work or return to work and unable to support his family.

How the case was resolved

The medical team owed a duty of are to Mr Simon as they would do to any patient. They breached that duty of care by being negligent in delaying diagnosis and treatment of his critical ischemia. If that diagnosis had not been delayed, then Mr Simon would not have had to have his lower left leg amputated.

The two NHS Trusts and GP’s that had been involved in Mr Simon’s treatment and were responsible for his extensive pain and suffering and the eventual loss of his limb and inability to earn an income. Two doctors involved had been negligent by failing to pay attention to test results and symptoms indicative of dying tissue in the foot and failing to refer Mr Simon urgently to hospital for treatment despite the fact that he repeatedly stated he was in a great deal of pain and distress.

The two NHS Trusts involved also failed to properly assess, diagnose and treat Mr Simon correctly on many occasions. Had it not been for those failures, the severe pain and extensive suffering our client endured as well as the loss of a limb could have been avoided. Mr Simon had unquestionably suffered loss of employment and future earnings and he also now required substantial care and physiotherapy He would also require prosthetics and would have to find more suitable family accommodation for his needs.

The Result

The case was nearing trial when the NHS made a Part 36 offer of £255,000.00 Mr Simon accepted the offer and the settlement was paid in full by the NHS Legal Authority on behalf of the Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals. Mr Simon now has the means to fund the support and assistance he and his family will require for as long as it is needed.

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