Stressed Doctor

Pressure Sore Led to Patient’s Death

Pressure Sore Led to Patient’s Death

£20,000 Settlement

Pryers recovered £20,000 in compensation, acting for the daughter of a patient who suffered a pressure sore, which led to her death.

Doreen’s story

In February 2008 *Doreen* underwent bowel obstruction surgery in South Yorkshire. She was then discharged and put under the care of District Nurses. While her wound was care for and attended to regularly Doreen was initially bed bound and her pressure areas were not checked or managed.

In May 2008 it was discovered that Doreen was suffering from a necrotic right heel ulcer by her GP. This reached the stage whereby Doreen had to be re-admitted to hospital in June 2008 with sepsis in the heel, in addition to septic arthritis of the right knee. It was felt that it would be too risky to operate on Doreen and her treatment was conservative.

Doreen was referred to the Orthotics department to get a heel lift and relieve pressure when walking.

Doreen then started to suffer skin tears and further pressure sores on her buttocks. Her condition continued to gradually worsen and led to her death in July 2008.

Pryers alleged that the pressure sore led to Doreen’s death

Doreen’s daughter contacted Anna Renfree, clinical negligence specialist at Pryers in November 2008 and we started to investigate the claim. She entered into a ‘no win no fee’ agreement to fund the case.

A letter of claim was served on the Defendant in May 2010 and in November 2010 the Defendant responded, admitting that they were in breach of their duty of care but denying that this led to Doreen’s death. The Defendant offered £7,500 to settle.

Anna then worked with our in house microbiology expert, Dr Kirwan, who advised that Doreen had suffered from a bacterial infection which had provided an entry point for infection. Swabs of the pressure sore on the heal showed Klebsiella Pneumoniae culture and Doreen’s principle cause of death was recorded as pneumonia.

We returned to the Defendant with this evidence and asked them to re-consider our original offer of £20,000. They agreed to this, which Doreen’s daughter was pleased to accept.

The Defendant also paid all of the client’s legal costs so they had nothing to pay during or after the case and she received 100% of her damages for her mother’s estate.

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