Compensation for MRSA Infection
A former London Underground station supervisor has received £412,500 in compensation after contracting MRSA in an open wound following a hip operation.
The 62-year-old from Middlesex now has no left hip joint and has lost 3 and a half inches in height after he caught the infection while he was being treated by Charing Cross Hospital in London.
The ex London Underground employee had received a previous hip replacement in 1996 and was on the waiting list for it to be renewed. He had a bad fall in 2003 and underwent the operation in August that year.
His operation was carried out in two stages, seven days apart, because his surgeon did not have the correct machine to complete the surgery.
Patient was left with open wound for 7 days between 2 operations
It meant he was left with an open wound for seven days while he waited for the machine to become available.
Four weeks after the operation he was discharged but when he returned to the hospital for a check-up he was told he had an infection in his hip and was readmitted.
He was diagnosed with MRSA, given antibiotics and left with an open wound for a year.
His hip replacement was removed in March 2004 where he was again diagnosed with MRSA. He has now been told that he cannot have another hip replacement because the risk of another infection is too high. He has been told there is still a small risk of losing his leg through infection.
Now reliant on care and cannot walk without a stick
The client is now reliant on care and cannot walk without a stick. It is likely that he will need to use a wheelchair in the future.
Without a new hip he has been unable to return to his work and has not been able to secure alternative employment.
The client pursued a claim for clinical negligence. Hammersmith Hospital NHS Trust admitted breach of duty and settled the claim out of court.
The client said: “I should never have been put in the position where I faced the prospect of serious disability for the rest of my life. To this day I find it difficult to believe that the surgeon would start an operation knowing full well that he would not be able to complete it.
“I am now managing to get about without the hip joint, but recognise that in the future I may return to being dependent on a wheelchair again. Had the operation gone well I have no doubt that I would have returned to my work for the London Underground or to a similar role elsewhere.”
The client's solicitors added: “This client was put at serious risk of infection as soon as the surgeon made the decision to undertake the operation in two stages.
“His decision has left our client’s mobility seriously restricted and has meant all his hopes of returning to work have been dashed. We hope that Hammersmith Hospital NHS Trust reviews its policies regarding two stage operations.”
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