Case Study: Inadequate Monitor Leads to Pressure Sores in Child

Compensation: £20,000

Sally, 10 years old, Manchester

A young girl has been awarded £20,000 following negligence by medical professionals led to pressure sores on her skin after an operation.

Following an operation on her spine for a cyst, Sally was paralysed from the chest down and is paraplegic. She has no use of her left hand. She subsequently developed scoliosis of the spine and for some time would wear a body brace to try and correct this. Unfortunately this was unsuccessful and eventually she underwent spinal surgery. As Sally grew, further revision of the rods in her back had to take place.

Negligence post-operation

When she was 10 years old, Sally was admitted to hospital for spinal rods revision. Post operatively Sally was transferred to the high dependency unit (HDU). Sally was put in a semi-upright position, with a view to preventing the development of any chest infection. Two days after the operation Sally was transferred from the HDU to a ward, remaining in the same position. Sally remained in a semi-upright position for a week. She was not turned, nor was her position changed.

On the 7th day post-operatively Sally's mother was about to administer a phosphate enema to enable Sally to open her bowels when she noted an area of skin and tissue damage on Sally's buttocks. This was drawn to the attention of the medical staff.

Sally was examined by a Consultant Plastic Surgeon and underwent a further procedure under general anaesthetic to obtain a skin graft on her right thigh. She was discharged home after a month. When Sally returned home, she was unable to return to school and remained on complete bed rest, until re-admission for further surgery. She underwent a third operation for a rotational skin graft after six months.

Legal help

JMW Solicitors alleged that the hospital was negligent in failing to monitor the condition of Sally's skin in the period following her operation and that with appropriate care, the development of skin tissue damage would not have occurred.

Sally was unable to return to school for a full academic year and has also been left with a large scar around her buttocks. She has no sensation below the chest as a result of her original condition and therefore experienced no pain as a result of the pressure sore.

Settlement

The hospital admitted that the treatment had been negligent and the case was settled. Sally was awarded £20,000 compensation.

Have you or a loved one also suffered pressure sores?

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