Amputation

Real Life Experiences

THERE ARE CLEAR GUIDELINES FOR MANAGING FOOT WOUNDS IN PATIENTS WITH DIABETES AND THE DISTRICT NURSE FAILED TO FOLLOW THEM.

Richard

Richard was 60 and suffered from diabetes. The skin of his right foot cracked and became infected. He saw a district nurse at his GP’s surgery. The nurse managed the wound and saw him every week to dress it. In the meantime he continued to walk on his foot and the wound became worse. After about six weeks it became so painful that he went to accident and emergency and he was admitted. By then the infection had reached the bone of his foot. Doctors needed to amputate his leg below the knee to save his life.

There are clear guidelines for managing foot wounds in patients with diabetes. They require urgent referral to a multi-disciplinary foot clinic. The district nurse failed to follow them. Richard therefore made a claim against the hospital trust responsible for the district nurses.

Eventually the claim was settled by negotiation weeks before trial. Richard received damages of £350,000. His damages are paying for the best quality private prosthetic legs so that he can walk as well as possible. They also pay for him to have help at home, a good quality wheelchair and other equipment to make life easier.

All names have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals

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