Hospital Causes Paraplegia and Has to Compensate £275,000

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Due to the medical negligence of hospital staff at the Queens Medical Centre, our client was awarded £275,000 for his injuries. Penny Stead, our Medical Negligence Solicitor in Leeds, handled the case.

Hospital Causes Paraplegia and Has to Compensate £275,000

Gardening Accident at Home

Systemic and post-operative failures can be life changing and severe. This is what our 82-year-old client found out when he had an accident in his garden leading to him becoming paralysed from the chest down.

Our client fell from a ladder whilst gardening at home. He wasn't found for around 20 minutes until paramedics came to treat him at the scene before transferring him to Queens Medical Centre. At this stage he still had feeling in his legs and was able to move them. His injuries at the time included a torn aorta, fractured ribs, a punctured lung and a fractured shoulder. Understandably he was in a lot of pain and 5 hours of being admitted following the accident, he underwent surgery to repair the damaged aorta and save his life. To repair the aorta, the surgeon at the hospital fitted a stent which was inserted through the groin. Our client was then transferred not onto an intensive care high dependency unit as you would expect after such a surgery, but to a vascular ward.

During the night, he reported feeling a strange sensation but no action was taken by medical staff at this stage and by the morning, our client was found to be paralysed from the chest down.

There had been a failure by the hospital to put in place any protocol or care plan to monitor our client's condition, which meant the blood supply to his spinal cord had been disrupted.

He was taken to theatre to have fluid drained from his spine and further transferred to the spinal ward. Following this, our client was sent to a spinal unit in another hospital. There had been a delay of around 6 to 7 hours between the onset of his symptoms and the right action being taken to save the feeling in our client's legs.

Hospital Failures

Spinal cord ischaemia, the condition our client suffered from, is reversible but it is critical to identify the symptoms in time to treat.

When Penny decided to take on this case, she made it her argument that if our client would have been monitored correctly, he would have been referred for medical assessment 7 hours earlier when his blood pressure dropped. This was the strange sensation our client felt, but had been ignored by the medical staff. The blood supply to his spinal cord would have been preserved and he would not have been left paraplegic.

Penny got to work straight away consulting with medical professionals to prove that the hospital had breached the duty of care owed to our client, and that our client's injuries were a direct result of this. She also worked with a medico-legal consultant to ensure that our client's medical records were in chronological order as often vital information may be missing or illegible.

Cases like these are devastating for the client as their lives will never be the same again. Compensation is a must in these circumstances as adjustments will need to be made to their homes and expensive equipment will be required to help them live comfortably in their everyday lives.

Penny was able to prove that it was in fact the hospital's negligent care that led to our client becoming paraplegic and was able to get him a compensation amount of £275,000 for his injuries and out of pocket expenses.


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