Medical staff failed to diagnose his serious condition for almost a week
A Yorkshire man who had his right leg amputated above the knee after medical staff failed to diagnose a serious condition for almost a week has secured a £1.7m compensation settlement.
The 56-year-old factory worker was admitted to Pinderfields Hospital in July 2013 suffering from severe pain in his right calf, poor circulation and a discoloured big toe.
The Unite member who was suffering from an obstruction of his arteries known as critical limb ischaemia should have been immediately admitted for surgery to restore circulation in his leg, but medical staff instead advised him to go home and return the following day. On his return, surgeons performed a thrombectomy operation, which was unsuccessful, but also failed to investigate alternative options, such as thrombolysis, to remove blood clots.
He continued to suffer pain and lacked a pulse in his foot for almost a week before having femoral bypass surgery. The wound later became infected and his lower leg was so damaged that his leg needed to be amputated above the knee.
“I was completely let down by the hospital,” he explained. “I went there with a serious, but treatable, condition. There were several instances where the issue could have been spotted - I would have needed a relatively minor operation to treat it. It’s heart breaking that in the end I lost my leg.”
The amputation injury meant he had a year off work and he had to move home into an adapted bungalow. He uses prosthetics and has domestic assistance and, while he has been able to return to employment, he cannot no longer do the job he used to.
He turned to Unite Legal Services and instructed Thompsons Solicitors to make a compensation claim. The hospital admitted that, had the condition been diagnosed and treated promptly, the amputation could have been avoided.
The Unite member continued: “I’m fortunate that I am a Unite member – I don’t know if I would have started a compensation claim if I didn’t have my union’s solicitors supporting me. Unite Legal Services and Thompsons explained everything to me and helped me throughout my claim, securing a payout that means I don’t have to worry about the costs of further treatment and new prosthetics. My employer was accommodating and has offered me a new role that isn’t so physically demanding.
“I was completely let down by the hospital."
Unite member and medical negligence client
“Even so, coming to terms with how my life is now has been incredibly tough. I can only hope that the hospital has learnt from what happened and doesn’t put someone else’s health at risk, like they did mine.”
Karen Reay, North East, Yorkshire and Humberside regional secretary at Unite the union, said: “Our member’s life has been catastrophically turned upside down because of the negligence of a medical professional. I can’t begin to imagine how traumatising the whole ordeal must have been for him and his family.
“We always strive to ensure members unfairly injured secure the highest possible amount of compensation and, alongside Thompsons Solicitors, we secured £1.7m after this horrendous injury. This settlement safeguards our member’s rehabilitation so he has access to high-quality treatment and prosthetics without having to worry about the financial burden.”
Concerned about negligent medical treatment or diagnoses? Talk to us for advice and support today.
Our discrete and compassionate solicitors are experienced in the full range of medical injury claims, and will work with you to establish whether you have a claim for compensation. If you, or a loved one, think you have suffered medical negligence in the last three years, contact us for advice.
If the incident happened more than three years ago, you will usually not be able to make a claim for compensation. However, exceptions do apply – such as instances where you could not have reasonably known your symptoms were caused by clinical negligence, or cases involves adults who lack legal capacity or children – so contact us for advice.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.