The claim concerned a severe injury suffered by Yvonne in June 2010. She began to suffer from pain in her right shin just below her knee where there was an area of swelling.
She attended her GP who prescribed antibiotics. No improvement occurred and the GP two days later referred Yvonne to Whipps Cross Hospital. An insulin dependent diabetic she was investigated for a DVT. Routine blood tests were also performed to look for an infection. She was discharged from hospital with advice to return if necessary.
By Saturday 26 June 2010 Yvonne was unable to walk without assistance and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. She was diagnosed with cellulitis, given another antibiotic and again discharged from hospital. On Friday 1 July 2010 Yvonne's condition had deteriorated notwithstanding the antibiotics and substantial doses of pain killers and she returned again to the hospital.
A diagnosis of cellulitis was confirmed and she was discharged for "GP follow up". She attended the hospital later that day for an ultrasound scan of her calves and knee. There was no evidence of a DVT but there was shown to be a collection of pus in her anterior tibia. X-rays and MRI's were recommended.
The hospital's own consultant radiologist noted at the time that:
"I think it is also important to point out that the DVT scanning …is grossly overused…the diagnosis of DVT should not have been entertained in the first place".
At last, Yvonne was admitted to hospital for drainage of the collection. However no investigations or treatment were given to her over the weekend and surgery to drain the collection was performed on Monday 5 July. By this time there was a "huge abscess right leg". The wound was necrotic and post-surgery she was prescribed intravenous antibiotics. Additional surgery was required on 7 July to clean the wound.
After further surgery, Yvonne was transferred to the Broomfield Hospital for treatment by the regional plastic surgery team. Yvonne suffered serious injuries to her right leg which even with a high level of plastic surgery left her with a very deformed leg. She had been unable to return to work full time and still was unable to completely return to her pre-accident condition.
Although the hospital admitted medical negligence it denied that in practice the bacterial infection called klebseillia would have been diagnosed any earlier.
Paul McNeil issued proceedings on Yvonne's behalf in March 2013 and a trial was fixed for the following summer.
Happily, Yvonne made a reasonable recovery from the multiple surgeries although she is left with extensive scarring on her right leg. She managed to return to work as a chef/manager with McDonalds (albeit on a part time basis). The case settled in the sum of £170,000 in July 2014.
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