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Necrotising Fasciitis Cases

Elderly Man Dies From Infected Pressure Sore

While in hospital, Frank developed a large pressure sore on his bottom. This was ignored firstly by the hospital, and subsequently the care home he was staying in. The sore soon became infected with necrotising fasciitis, which eventually took his life.

After suffering a fall, 80 year old Frank was taken to hospital in an ambulance. After checking him over, the hospital was keen to discharge him, but Frank's daughter protested. She said it would be dangerous for him to return home, where he lived alone. Reluctantly, the hospital found a bed for him and a care assessment was organised.

Frank remained in hospital for a total of five weeks. During that time he was largely ignored by hospital staff. His pyjamas and underclothes were always heavily soiled and Frank's daughter would take them home to wash herself. At one point he became severely dehydrated and required an intravenous drip.

The assessment carried out by a social worker concluded that Frank should be living in a care home. With the help of his daughter and grand-daughter, a suitable place was found and he moved in. At first the staff seemed pleasant and helpful, but it wasn't long before his daughter became concerned about the care her father was receiving.

There were little problems, such as the fact Frank's glasses went missing and his hearing aid batteries were not replaced, essentially leaving him blind and deaf. More worryingly, he was largely left abandoned in his room and had no means of calling for assistance. Staff could not be bothered to take him to the toilet, so he would be put in a nappy to wear all day.

Frank's daughter was extremely upset by the attitude of the staff who seemed to view the residents as a nuisance. The final straw came when a nurse said Frank had a pressure sore on his bottom which was the size of the palm of a hand. The nurse said she had "never seen anything like it". However, no treatment was provided and Frank was left in bed all day.

Shortly afterwards the pressure sore became infected and Frank was rushed back to hospital. He underwent an operation to fit a catheter. He was then placed on a ward, but again hospital staff ignored him. He was in immense pain and was crying to go home. He was hallucinating and there were open wounds on his feet which were green and infected.

Despite this, the nurses said Frank was "causing a disturbance". His awful treatment continued, and food and drinks would simply be left by his bed, even though it was obvious he couldn't feed himself. Frank's daughter repeatedly complained, but no one took any notice of her. Instead her father was left to deteriorate.

Three weeks after being re-admitted to hospital, Frank died of multi-organ failure, bacterial sepsis and necrotising fasciitis. His death could be attributed to the fact he developed a pressure sore in hospital, which is considered to be a 'never event'. The sore was not treated by either the care home or the hospital, resulting in a severe infection.

Little or no attempt was made by the care home or hospital to prevent or treat the infection. When he was re-admitted to hospital, Frank would be left to sit in his own faeces, which would come into contact with the open wound on his bottom. This made his condition worse, and ultimately led to Frank's untimely death.

Frank suffered terrible pain during the last months of his life and was left to die without the dignity he deserved. The hospital and the care home repeatedly failed him. He should not have developed a pressure sore, and it certainly should not have become severely infected. Had it not been for these failings, Frank would have continued to live.

We helped Frank's daughter pursue a claim against those responsible for her father's death. She was awarded £15,000 compensation on behalf of his estate.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

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