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Sandra, aged 88 from Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, underwent a hip replacement in October 2015. During surgery, she sustained a 6cm laceration to her lower leg.

Sandra had fragile skin and a history of leg ulcers. Unfortunately, the laceration did not heal properly and she developed an ulcer. She was treated at home by District Nurses however she was never referred to a tissue viability nurse or a vascular surgeon when the laceration did not heal. The ulcer finally healed in June 2016.

Sandra instructed Stephanie Turner to investigate the management of the laceration.

We obtained supportive evidence from a Nursing expert with regards to the management of the wound and a Vascular Surgeon in relation to the development of the ulcer.

We alleged that while it could not be proved how the laceration occurred, it could be inferred that the laceration was caused as the drapes were removed during surgery. We alleged that had the ulcer been properly identified following surgery and the correct bandaging used, it would have healed by February 2016.

The Defendant Trust admitted that they had caused the laceration but it was argued that the laceration was much smaller, 3cm, and it had healed before she was discharged. They further denied that the wound could be classed as an ulcer and therefore argued that referral was not appropriate.

Despite not accepting the full extent of our allegations, the Defendant accepted our offer to settle Sandra’s case for £10,000.

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We mustn't let the financial costs of these claims blind us to the enormous human costs. These cases are completely avoidable and the government needs to focus on better patient safety to avoid errors in the first place. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51180944

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