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Client receives compensation after missed cellulitis

Woman receives six figure sum after developing renal failure, septicaemia and osteomyelitis after cellulitis was missed

Photo: istock

21 January 2010

Clinical negligence solicitor, Maria Panteli, has successfully settled a claim for damages for a client for a substantial six-figure sum against Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The claim related to the failure and delay by the Trust to diagnose and treat our client’s cellulitis promptly, which led to renal failure, septicaemia and consequently the development of osteomyelitis in September 2002. 

Our client developed a soft tissue infection in her ankle.  As a result of the failure of the defendants to diagnose and treat this infection quickly, it developed into full-blown septicaemia, requiring hospital admission.  Our client developed a deep infection in the region of her left ankle and a metastatic infective spread to the spinal cord, producing a spinal abscess with neurological compromise. 

Treatment of these very severe problems required an extensive period in intensive care, debridements of the ankle and a spinal decompression procedure, during which her spine was stabilised with a metal plate and bone graft.  She faced a real possibility of death as a result of renal failure and septicaemia.

Following this, our client had to undergo intensive rehabilitation and was eventually discharged home in May 2003 with 24-hour care.  Our client is now effectively a wheelchair user.

The medicine in this case and establishing what the negligence had caused our client was complex and involved several experts from different disciplines (A&E medicine, orthopaedics, radiology, diabetes, neurology and microbiology). 

The case was due to go to a trial to consider liability and the value of claim.  In the course of our investigations and, following the issue and service of court proceedings, the defendants admitted liability and we were able to enter judgment.  The case therefore proceeded on the value of the claim only.

The case was settled shortly before the commencement of the trial period following negotiations between us and the defendants’ lawyers.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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