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'Never event' left nurse with nerve damage to her foot as she underwent breast cancer surgery

Woman receives compensation for permanently damaged foot

Patient being taken to surgery

20 January 2016

A 50 year old woman known only as K has settled her medical negligence claim after she was left with a permanently damaged foot while being prepared for breast cancer surgery.

K had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was admitted to hospital in September 2012 for a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, a procedure that lasted some ten hours.

Before being sent to the theatre K was fitted with two hospital ID bands, one around each wrist.  She was also fitted with a full length pair of compression stockings.

When K woke from surgery she felt considerable pain in her left foot and ankle and noticed that the TED stocking on her left leg had been rolled up from her foot so that it was at the same level as her ankle. She also noticed that an ID band had been put on her left ankle.

The combination of these two items acted as a tourniquet around her left ankle.

K continued to suffer with pain in her left foot for six months after her surgery and suffered from a numb yet burning sensation and a feeling of pins and needles in her foot. She was later diagnosed as having suffered from a nerve injury but was told that she would recover from this.

While K is no longer in as much pain in her left foot her walking distance is now restricted and has abnormal feeling in the sole of her foot. Her return to work was delayed by the injury she suffered to her foot.

K was represented by medical negligence partner Suzanne White who said:

“This was a so-called ‘never event’, something that should not have happened to a patient under any circumstances.

“My client has been left with permanent damage to her left foot despite being admitted to hospital on a completely unrelated matter.”

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