Inadequate Plaster Cast Resulted in Avoidable Pressure Sores

Mrs L was 91 years old when she fell at home and suffered a fractured ankle. She was taken to hospital where she was sedated to allow the medics to realign the fracture before a plaster cast was applied to her right leg.

During the days that followed, Mrs L complained of pain around her ankle and leg. Despite constant queries by Mrs L’s family, it was a further two weeks before the medics agreed to remove the plaster cast.

On removing the cast, it became apparent that it had not been applied correctly and therefore had been rubbing Mrs L’s leg and ankle which had resulted in sores developing which had become necrotic. Three Grade 3 pressure sores were discovered; to the base of the fifth metatarsal area 1.5cm x 1.0cm in size; to the medial aspect of the heel 2cm x 2cm in size and to the anterior aspect of the ankle joint.

Mrs L was unable to return to her own home due to her reduced mobility and therefore moved into a residential nursing home where she sadly deteriorated and died three months later.

An inquest into Mrs L’s death was held and the family were represented by Nelsons Solicitors.

The family then proceeded to bring a claim in clinical negligence on the basis that the plaster cast applied to Mrs L’s leg was inadequate and fell below the standard to be expected. On the balance of probabilities, had the plaster cast been properly applied, the pressure sores to the fifth metatarsal, heel and medial malleolus would have been avoided.

The defendant Trust accepted the family’s offer to settle the claim for a four-figure sum.

The family were represented by Danielle Young.

If you would like more information or advice on pursuing a claim for compensation, please contact a member of our Clinical Negligence team.