Medical negligence specialist Oliver Thorne has succeeded in a hospital death compensation claim following a series of mistakes made by two hospitals.
Oliver represented the widow of the man who died, dealing with her claim on a no win, no fee basis.
His client’s late husband had undergone an Endovascular Aortic Repair (EVAR) for an aortic aneurism in 2010. An ultrasound carried out some years later revealed that his aorta was enlarged and he therefore required further surgery.
When he was taken into recovery after the operation, it was noted that his lower limbs had no strength. This should have been picked up as a ‘red flag’ by the hospital staff but it wasn’t.
He then developed an acute kidney issue and was transferred to the intensive care unit, but no plan was made at this stage in relation to the loss of sensation in his legs. Four hours later he was finally seen by a doctor, and was then transferred for an urgent MRI scan. The scan found that our client’s late husband had an acute haematoma which was compressing his spinal cord.
Arrangements were made for him to undergo thoracic decompression. The operation meant that he was not able to move without assistance and could not move his own legs independently. It was recorded that he needed to be moved every two hours for pressure relief, but only a couple of days later it was noticed that he had developed a category 1 pressure sore on his left buttock. Over time, this developed into a grade 4 sore.
A few months after being discharged, our client called for an ambulance, as her husband was in considerable pain. Five days later, he passed away. His death was caused by multi-organ failure brought on by sepsis that had set in as a result of the pressure sore.
Oliver pursued a claim against the two hospitals that treated him for various errors they had made. In particular he alleged that they failed to pick up on the lack of movement in his legs which delayed the decompression surgery.
One of the hospitals was quick to concede that it had been at fault, but the other only made limited admissions. Oliver therefore contacted several medical experts, who agreed that if our client’s husband had undergone decompression surgery earlier, it would have resulted in a better outcome, which in turn would have avoided the pressure sore, from which he ultimately caught sepsis, leading to his death.
On the strength of this supportive evidence an out of court settlement was reached, with the widow receiving a sum of £25,000.
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