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Clinical negligence cost man his leg

08th November 2013

The 59-year-old had suffered attacks of gout for many years, but in 2008 he went to hospital suffering from serious problems with one of his ankles.

Medical professionals wrongly diagnosed the man with cellulitis – an infection of the deeper skin layers – stating that the issue was being caused by a reaction to medication he was taking.

He was sent home with antibiotics, but his ankle was not surgically washed out to eradicate the infection. Ten days later he was re-diagnosed, this time correctly, with septic arthritis. Unfortunately by this time he was suffering from toxic shock syndrome and his kidneys had failed.

Although his ankle joint was then washed out four times, and he underwent this treatment again two months later, he was told that he required a below-the-knee amputation.

In 2009, before the operation could take place, he was informed that the infection had spread to his lungs and spine. This has left him with a shortened life expectancy.

Despite undergoing the amputation a fortnight later, the infection in his back had resulted in curvature of the spine, meaning that he is unable to use a prosthetic leg or crutches.

He states, “It’s unbelievable, it really is. I’m in a wheelchair. I have carers in every day and they have to do most things for me. I’m not able to work – and can make a cup of tea and a sandwich and that’s about the limit nowadays.”

After contacting a medical negligence solicitor, the man managed to receive £1.5 million in an out-of-court settlement.

“It is a large sum of money but it doesn’t bring back the life I had,” the claimant says.

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