A pensioner who was paralysed owing to a rare spinal infection has won millions of pounds in compensation from the NHS because her suffering was made far worse by dreadful pressure sores she developed whilst being treated in hospital.
The woman was in her 60s and enjoying an active life before she developed a spinal cord inflammation which left her paralysed from the chest downwards. Doctors could not be blamed for that. However, during extended hospital admissions, she developed deep pressure sores, which had devastating consequences.
The sores were so severe that they infected her bone marrow, shortened the muscle tissues in her legs and resulted in a hip dislocation. She had been left largely bed-bound and unable to achieve a comfortable posture. The sores had left her skin scarred and extremely vulnerable and she could only sit in her wheelchair for a maximum of four hours at a time.
The NHS trusts which managed the hospitals where she underwent treatment admitted failing to treat the sores appropriately and conceded full liability in the case. The woman’s damages were assessed on the basis that she had a near-normal life expectancy and would require 24 hour help from two live-in carers. The High Court also found that she would need a larger home in order to accommodate them.
Although the precise amount of the woman’s compensation award has yet to be determined, lawyers confirmed that it will come to between £2 million and £3 million. It will include £115,000 for her pain, suffering and loss of amenity; however, the vast majority of the award will relate to the provision of her future care and accommodation needs.
Negligence on the part of care providers can have devastating consequences. We can advise you on claiming compensation in circumstances such as this.