Spinal Injury Patient Awarded Half a Million Pounds Because of Pressure Sore Negligence
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: medical negligence
An elderly man who was admitted to Stoke Mandeville Hospital’s spinal injury unit because of a severe spinal cord injury has just received 475,000 pounds in compensation. It was determined that negligence at the hospital, as well as the Royal London Hospital immediately beforehand, was responsible for the development of pressure sores which severely impacted on the man’s ability to recover from his original injury.
One of the peculiarities of spinal injuries is that they often make it difficult for the injured person to feel the effects of a developing pressure sore, yet their prone position on a hospital bed makes them more likely to suffer from them. Normal patients should be able to detect that they are suffering from a developing pressure sore and tell the nurses responsible for their health.
The lawsuit against the two hospitals specifically stated that there was a failure to monitor the 70 year old man’s status for the possibility of pressures sores and that negligence allowed the sores to develop.
How the sores happened after the initial injury
The elderly man first injured himself when he fell down a staircase at home. The injury to his spine as a result of the fall meant that he was paralysed and needed immediate hospital treatment.
He was admitted initially to the Royal London Hospital, where his condition was stabilised and assessed for further treatment and surgery. It was in this first hospital that he developed the first three of his eventual ten pressure sores.
He was then transferred to the spinal cord unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital so that he could undergo specialist rehabilitative treatment.
At this second hospital his first there ulcers had already reached a critical stage, yet were either unnoticed or at any rate did not receive remedial treatment. To make things worse, he then went on to develop at least seven more pressure sores while at Stoke Mandeville.
The ten pressure sores were so acute and the symptoms so severe that the patient was unable to continue with the rehabilitative spinal cord treatment that he was supposed to have received while at Stoke Mandeville.
The effects of this patient’s sores were avoidable
He has now spent seven more years in hospital and has not been able to return home. He receives very expensive specialist care and has a permanent tracheotomy installed to allow him to breathe.
Solicitors acting on behalf of the patient said that if the pressure sores had been dealt with properly by both the two hospitals in the first place then his spinal cord injury would have been treated sufficiently to allow him to return home with minimal further support.
Negligence admitted by NHS Trusts
Both the two NHS trusts that administer the two hospitals have admitted negligence and have apologised to the patient for the outcome of this negligence. Trust spokespersons have said that they have acknowledged that this patient’s outcomes were preventable and have said that they have since introduced measures to ensure best practice around pressure sore monitoring and treatment is in place with staff training emphasised.