£90,000 Compensation for Avoidable Amputation of Fingers

Author:
Julie Dudson
Partner, Medical Negligence Solicitor
Date:
12/01/2021

A Medical Negligence Claim Case Study - Client Situation

Our client went to the A&E department at St Thomas’s Hospital in London after coughing up blood and losing weight for 11 days.

He was admitted to a ward but his symptoms got worse, so he was transferred to intensive care for emergency surgery. A day later, it was noted that his right hand was cool with dusky coloured fingers, and he couldn’t squeeze fingers using that hand.

This continued into the next day, and at this point, it was recorded that there was no evidence of the finger not getting enough blood, so it was decided to remove an arterial line inserted during the surgery.

Following further reviews, he was told that he was likely to lose some of his fingers, and the amputation was carried out several months later.

The removal of the fingers meant our client could no longer use what had been his dominant hand. This led to him struggling to perform many everyday tasks that required the use of both hands, and he was also unable to go back to his job as a driver.

How We Helped

The patient approached Simpson Millar’s team of specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors for help claiming compensation from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Medical Negligence Solicitor Julie Dudson took on the case and after investigations were carried out, Julie argued that:

  • The arterial line should have been watched carefully and removed sooner when it was first noted that the patient’s hand was cool and the fingers were dusky
  • After monitoring the hand for 30 minutes from the removal of the line, if it wasn’t spontaneously recovering, the patient should have been given medicines that help prevent blood clots

Julie believed that if these breaches hadn’t happened, our client’s hand would have recovered, and his fingers wouldn’t have needed to have been amputated.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust admitted that mistakes had been made with the removal of the arterial line, but argued that if it had been removed sooner, the damage to our client’s hand would already have been done.

Since the NHS Trust didn’t admit full liability (fault) for our client’s condition, Court proceedings had to be issued.

The Outcome

The case settled for a total of £90,000. The compensation should help our client access the care and support he requires to live as independently as possible, and ease any financial pressures he faces as a result of the medical negligence he experienced.

For more information see Amputation Compensation Payouts Guide.

For free legal advice call our Medical Negligence Solicitors

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