Danielle went to A&E twice with the characteristic symptoms of necrotising fasciitis, but on each occasion she was discharged. This led to a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of her condition, which nearly cost Danielle her life.
Danielle had been a happy and healthy individual, but all this changed when she started to suffer pain around her coccyx. She tried to ignore it but within a matter of days the pain was so unbearable she could not even walk. Her partner therefore called an ambulance which took her to the nearest A&E department.
In hospital Danielle underwent a brief examination in which her blood pressure and pulse were taken. These were normal so she was sent home without any warnings or advice. However, Danielle’s condition deteriorated over the following three days and her right buttock became swollen and red.
She returned to A&E and underwent a more thorough examination, but the doctor simply decided she was constipated and prescribed a laxative. Her blood pressure was noted to be dangerously low, but despite this, Danielle was discharged from hospital once again. She was made to feel like she was wasting everyone’s time and on her hospital notes the doctor wrote “sent home again!!!”
A friend arranged a chiropractor appointment for Danielle, which was scheduled for the following day. She managed to make this appointment, during which she was x-rayed and told to return the next day.
However, when she arrived at the clinic the following day she was completely delirious. The chiropractor immediately sent her to hospital, and as soon as she arrived she was rushed into surgery. It became clear that Danielle had a perineal ulcer which had become infected with necrotising fasciitis, an aggressive flesh-eating disease. The operating surgeon was furious that Danielle had been sent home twice in her condition and ordered an official investigation.
Danielle was kept in an induced coma over the following days as she required six operations to remove the dead tissue. She nearly died on several occasions during these procedures and was left with horrendous defects. Around 14 inches of tissue was removed from her right buttock and thigh, after which it was possible to see her spine and femur. Danielle had to remain on a vacuum machine for three months to allow the tissue to heal which was extremely painful.
Even after being discharged from hospital the district nurse had to visit every day for six months to change the dressings. Danielle also needed a colostomy bag for the best part of a year.
All this has had a devastating impact upon her life. Danielle has been left with awful scarring. She was unable to do anything for herself for the first six months and required so much time off work that she eventually lost her job.
Danielle will never understand why she was discharged from A&E in the terrible condition she was in. Her low blood pressure indicated some kind of blood poisoning and she should have been admitted there and then. This would have ensured a timely diagnosis, limiting the amount of tissue that was eventually removed. Instead Danielle was offered an appalling standard of care, from which she very nearly died.
We helped Danielle making a claim against the negligent hospital and she was awarded over £100,000 compensation.
(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)