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Sepsis: When Delayed Diagnosis Causes Life-Changing Consequences (19 April 2018)

Date: 19/04/2018
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, Sepsis: When Delayed Diagnosis Causes Life-Changing Consequences

Sepsis is blood poisoning due to the body’s reaction to an infection, which can be fatal if not treated. Time after time, people have found themselves in desperate situations when sepsis has been left too long, leaving their lives changed.

Ms Malec recently found herself in hospital due to an ectopic pregnancy, which she had surgery to remove, along with an affected kidney. It was after the surgery that she was diagnosed with extensive limb ischaemia, meaning the tissue had begun to die. It was only later that she was told that this was due to a loss of blood supply as a result of sepsis, which medical staff had failed to spot.

It was 6 months before Ms Malec had the three affected limbs amputated, during which time her relationship had broken down.

The fact remains that Ms Malec’s care up until this point had been negligent as the medical staff failed to follow the sepsis protocol laid out which is essential for diagnosis and subsequent treatment. She continues to attend the hospital for dialysis after the removal of her kidney and she struggles to complete daily tasks as she learns how to manage with her prostheses.

The Luton & Dunstable University Hospital NHS Trust have already sent Ms Malec an interim payment in a bid to help her with her current care and living costs.

A further payment of compensation is expected to take into account loss of earnings, gratuitous care and assistance from friends or family, professional care costs, domestic adaptations, disadvantage on the open labour market – which refers to the restrictions Ms Malec will face when seeking employment, items purchased as a result of the injury, increased domestic bills and travel costs.

According to the Sepsis Trust UK 4th Edition 2017/18 there are more than 250,000 cases of sepsis in the UK each year and with almost 1/5 proving fatal. These figures rival that of cancer, with sepsis claiming more lives than breast, bowl and prostate cancer combined.

The NHS Trust admits that if they had recognised septicaemia early enough the amputations could have been avoided. The serious incident investigation revealed that Ms Malec had a raised temperature prior to undergoing the surgery for her ectopic pregnancy – which is a sign of sepsis – however urgency pushed them to proceed with the surgery.

Ashwati Menon, Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Trainee Solicitor at Duncan Lewis comments:

“Here is yet another tragic case where the NHS has failed to recognise and treat the sepsis in accordance with their own protocol. Mistakes continue to happen at the expense of people’s lives.”

For advice on any clinical negligence matter, contact Ashwati on 020 3114 1127 or at ashwatim@duncanlewis.com.

Duncan Lewis Clinical Negligence Solicitors

Duncan Lewis’ Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury team have extensive expertise in brain injury claims, resulting from medical negligence, including birth injuries, misdiagnosis, prescribing errors and surgical errors.

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If you or someone you know requires expert advice on a brain injury claim, call Duncan Lewis on 0333 772 0409.

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