The Claimant suffered spina bifida and a number of other conditions – bladder problems, flexion deformity of the knees, clawing of the toes, scoliosis (spinal twisting and curvature) and ulnar nerve damage (hand).
She suffered progressive deterioration of the spina bifida and scoliosis and was admitted to hospital for chiari decompression (to reduce the pressure at the junction between the base of the skull and the neck), later followed by de-tethering of the lumbar spine. During the three months post the second procedure,she was admitted to hospital on seven occasions, undergoing several further operations including the insertion of a shunt system and an extra ventricular drain to the front of the skull.
Throughout the various admissions she was immobilised, unable to sit up or move (due to the nature of the conditions suffered and the effects of the surgery)unless aided, resulting in the development of pressure sores.
It was alleged that the sores developed due to various Guideline failings,including to properly risk assess, provide appropriate mattressing, assist with re-positioning and to ensure appropriate communication pre-discharge from hospital with GP and District Nurses, to facilitate adequate treatment, post-development of the pressure sores, to arrest their development.
Due to these failing it was alleged, the pressure sores deteriorated, resulting in very deep sores, nerve damage and osteomyelitis,the severity of the symptoms impacting mobility and general health.
There was multiple – expert involvement – nursing, neurosurgery, rheumatology, rehabilitation and OT..
The case was listed for a split trial with breach of duty and causation to be determined before quantum. The case settled just prior to the first trial.