We pursued a hospital infection claim for Mrs Lock who contracted MRSA at Whipps Cross Hospital after a hip replacement operation. The hip became infected and eventually Mrs Lock had to have the hip removed. Mrs Lock received £400,000 damages for the hospital's negligence and the injuries she suffered as a result.
Mrs Lock, then aged 67, had been suffering from unilateral arthritis for approximately two years when she was admitted to the Whipps Cross Hospital for an elective right total hip replacement in September 1994.
Four days after the procedure, the surgical wound was found to be oozing and a swab was taken which indicated that the wound was infected with MRSA. The doctor recommended intravenous antibiotics but treatment was not commenced for a further eight days.
In November it was discovered that Mrs Lock's hip was infected with MRSA and during a three month
re-admission to the Whipps Cross Hospital, the hip was revised.
MRSA was again found in the prosthetic hip in late 1998 and during a further three month admission the prosthetic hip was removed. On this occasion the hip was not replaced because of the risk of a recurrence of the MRSA infection.
It was alleged that the Mrs Lock should not have been admitted to the Whipps Cross Hospital for the elective total hip replacement, given the history of MRSA infection on the surgical wards.
There were also a number of allegations concerning the post-operative care Mrs Lock received, in particular the delay in administering appropriate antibiotics and the failure to perform a radical excision and irrigation of the wound on 27 September 1994.
We were instructed to act on Mrs Lock’s behalf. Proceedings were issued on Mrs Lock’s behalf in October 1999.
The defence included a limited admission concerning the post-operative delay in administering antibiotics. However it was not until November 2000 that the defendant admitted full causation for the intractable MRSA infection.
The defendants agreed to settle the claim settled shortly before trial and Mrs Lock was happy to accept £400,000 damages. The defendants also paid all of Mrs Lock's legal costs.
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