In September 2008, an hour after a man went to work, he had a sudden, sharp cold pain in his foot as if he had stepped on an icicle. After walking only 200 yards, he would be in pain. As a result of negligence, he was awarded a large amount of medical negligence compensation when following his case up.
He saw his general practitioner who referred him for blood tests and prescribed painkillers. Two weeks later he went to the emergency department at a local hospital as his symptoms had gotten worse and he could not sleep. More painkillers were prescribed and he was told he would get better. There was no checking of his pulse in the main arteries of the leg which was a significant omission as the man suffered from severe ischemia, which is a lack of blood flow. This condition requires prompt treatment to remove the rotten dying flesh which results from the condition which can range from simple skin removal to amputation.
A month after his initial appointment and three more doctors’ appointments, he was referred to another hospital where a vascular surgeon diagnosed his condition as critical ischemia. He had angiogram, was sent home and a week later in October 2008 was told that two of the main arteries in his foot were blocked.
By December, the man’s toes were decaying and he had a mid-foot amputation. At the same time, his calf had also started to decay so in January 2009, his limb below the knee was completely amputated. Consequently, after five months, 15 doctors’ appointments, three hospital stays and three surgical procedures, the man could not walk without help for long periods of time, was unable to work and could not support his family.
The solicitors claimed that the doctors and surgeons breached their duty of care to the man as the diagnosis and treatment of his critical ischemia were delayed. It is probable that his lower left leg would not have been amputated. The solicitors also argued that the two doctors the man had seen were negligent in looking at test results and symptoms that the man’s tissue in his foot was dying and did not refer him to urgent hospital treatment despite his claims of distress and pain. The two Trusts also failed to properly diagnosis and treat the man so his pain and loss of limb could have been avoided.
Before the case went to trail, the defendants made an offer of £150,000 plus costs, which included £44,500 for damages and £105,000 for special damages, which now gives the man and his family sufficient funds to get the assistance and supports required for as long as it is needed.