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Negligent Care leads to Pressure Sores

Wilson Browne’s specialist Medical Negligence team acted for the family of a lady in pursing a claim against Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospital Foundation NHS Trust, for the substandard treatment she received by the Community District Nurses, both at home and at the hospital where she was admitted due to suffering a urinary tract infection and acute renal failure.

This lady had a history of various medical conditions including multiple sclerosis, recurrent urinary tract infections and cancer, due to which she was confined mainly to a wheelchair or a bed. She regularly had the Community District Nurses attend her home to provide her with the care and support she required. This lady was noted to have been suffering with pain and had developed a pressure sore to her sacrum. As a result she was provided with pressure relieving equipment including a mattress and her pressure sore care continued at home. However, in the following 2 months she was noted to have 3 sacral pressure sores to her sacrum and an updated mattress was ordered, which ultimately was not provided, along with a wheelchair cushion that was delayed. The District Nurses should have been aware of the risks of this lady developing further pressure sores and should have taken steps to prevent this from occurring by way of risk assessments, providing the standard pressure relieving devices and ensuring that repositioning of her vulnerable areas was performed.
Subsequently, due to this lady’s general health condition deteriorating, she was admitted to the hospital and it was noted that she had the pressure sores on her sacrum. The hospital ought to have performed several routine risk assessments, which they failed to do, leading to further deterioration of her pressure sores.
A wound assessment was carried out which identified that this lady’s sacral pressure sores had worsened and in additional she had developed a pressure sore on her right buttock measuring 7cm x 11cm. She should have been risk assessed by regularly reviewing the condition of her pressure sores, appropriate treatment plans should have been implemented and a pressure relieving air mattress ought to have been provided. Despite this no risk assessments were performed nor were any preventative measures put in place to avoid the development and worsening of the pressure sores and no relieving mattress was provided. She was later discharged and placed in the hands of the District Nurses for continuing care.
This lady was later readmitted to the hospital due to a diagnosis of cancer and had subsequent treatment. At this time it was noted that her sacral and pressure sores to her buttock had worsened, which ultimately led to an infection in her bones. She required surgical debridement for the pressure sores and was discharged with long term antibiotics for the infection. This lady sadly passed away a few weeks after discharge.
The claim was pursued on the basis that if the District Nurses and the hospital had provided her with the appropriate level of care and management for her pressure sores, conducted risk assessments, and given her a pressure relieving mattress along with putting in place preventative measures, she would have avoided developing pressure sores.
Wilson Browne secured a five figure sum in compensation for the pain and suffering that this lady and her family went through.

If you or a loved one has been neglected whilst in hospital, nursing or care home, which resulted in pressure sores, our specialist medical negligence team can assist you to claim compensation.  Call our team on 0800 0886004 to find out how we can help?