A woman who lost her leg in a car accident has been told she may face a further amputation after she developed DVT following an operation at Royal Preston Hospital.Advertisement
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has agreed to pay £50,000 to the patient after admitting failing to undertake appropriate measures to prevent the condition after surgery.
The woman patient, who was 54 at the time, has multiple sclerosis and family history of DVT and had been undergoing revision surgery on her right leg, which had she’d had amputated at the knee after being hit by a car some years earlier.
But she was not given any blood-thinning medication post-surgery at Royal Preston Hospital, or when she was discharged home in April 2016.
A month later she began suffering severe pain and swelling in her left leg.
When she was taken to A and E, doctors confirmed she had developed DVT and prescribed medication to treat serious blood clots.
She said: “I’ve been left very annoyed by what happened but also very upset as this was supposed to be a relatively straight-forward procedure to improve the socket and prosthetic attachment on my right leg as I had some excess skin which had become floppy.
“It has now ended in me being told I am at greater risk of losing my lower left leg by experts, all because I wasn’t given the medication required to prevent blood clotting. It is devastating really.
“It was obvious I was at risk given that I am already an amputee, have multiple sclerosis and was on HRT at the time.
“I even asked why I wasn’t being given it myself as when I had the original amputation after my accident in 2013 I was given medication to take for three months.
“They were also made aware of my family history as my grandmother died of blood clotting.”
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Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has admitted there were basic failings to carry out a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to prevent blood clotting.
Solicitor Sarah Scully, of Hudgell Solicitors, represented the woman in the legal case, and said the failings of the trust in April 2016 had not only caused avoidable short term suffering, leaving the woman bed bound for two weeks, but could also have significant long term health consequences.
She said: “We are glad that Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has made admissions in this case and agreed substantial damages, as independent medical experts consulted as part of the case were of the opinion that these errors in care could have further significant health consequences for our client, including further DVT and increased risk of amputation of her left leg.
“They were amongst the most basic errors in medical care, errors which were all the more inexcusable given our client not only had existing medical conditions which should have triggered extra concern with regard to possible development of DVT, but also given the fact she had explained her family’s medical history and expressed the need for medication herself
“There was clearly an inadequate assessment made of the patient given she was not advised to stop taking her HRT medication, and a clear failure in care by not providing suitable medication post-surgery.
“This situation was completely avoidable.”
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has been approached for comment.
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