Early release from hospital

This is a claim where the Claimant, Mr M was discharged from hospital too early. The defendant hospital was the Good Hope Hospital, part of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

In July 2011, Mr M was bitten on his left foot by his cat. The wound became infected and despite taking anti-inflammatory medication, prescribed by his GP, his foot became worse, swollen and hot.

Mr M attended his GP again on the 1st August 2011. Antibiotics were prescribed. He had developed cellulitis by this time which had spread from his ankle up to his tibia. He started to develop sepsis.

By 3rd August 2011 Mr M had to be admitted to the Good Hope Hospital. He was treated on the observation ward for severe sepsis. Other complications were gross swelling of his left leg and foot, blisters on the skin of both, low blood pressure and an acute kidney infection. His white blood cell count was significantly raised. After 2 nights of being treated with IV antibiotics he was discharged home on 5 August 2011.

When he was discharged he was given a prescription of further antibiotics called Co-amoxiclav. This prescription was overridden by the pharmacist because it did not follow the hospital protocol and instead, the Claimant was sent home with oral Flucloxacillin instead.

The Claimant woke at home the following day (06/08/2011) and the pain in his left leg and ankle had increased dramatically. It got progressively worse throughout the day to the point where it was excruciating. It was an all-over body pain like nothing he had ever experienced before. This remained the case throughout the following night with his leg beginning to swell again.

The next day (07/08/2011) the Claimant was in agony and could barely move. His wife struggled but managed to get him to their car and brought him to hospital where he was diagnosed as having necrotising fasciitis which is a rare by serious fleshing eating infection which spreads quickly. He was rushed to theatre to have emergency surgery.

He remained in hospital for a couple of weeks during which time he underwent 3 operations and has been left with scaring on his leg where part of his muscle was removed. The Claimant believed he should not have been discharged home on 5 August 2011 but rather remained in hospital on the IV antibiotics which appeared to be treating his condition.

His leg was painful and susceptible to further injury for many months. He had to take care not to knock it in case he set the condition off again. His mobility was severely affected. His wife had to help him with every day tasks. Mr M was unable to work as a carpet fitter and lost earnings. He was not able to contribute to the house work. His wife had to do this all by herself. He was not able to do gardening jobs at home either and had to pay someone to do these.  He was unable to drive a manual car and had to buy an automatic which was more expensive than a manual.

Mr M asked for Price Slater Gawne to investigate a claim for him. The claim was investigated and proceedings were brought against The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. They admitted that mistakes had been made and if Mr M had stayed at the hospital on IV antibiotics it was unlikely that the necrotising fasciitis condition would have developed.

In April 2017, Mr M received a monetary settlement for the physical and psychological effects of the mistake as well an award for his loss of earnings.