Unnecessary amputation leads to claim for medical negligence

A Spina Bifida sufferer, Michelle Richards, has received medical negligence compensation after her right leg was unnecessarily amputated above the knee.

The Welsh lady had a below-the-knee amputation in 1995 after a serious infection failed to heal in her foot. This was the correct treatment and she got used to a normal, active life using a prosthetic lower leg.

In 2003, Michelle started to suffer pain and skin rashes in her stump. Doctors diagnosed the problem as chronic osteomyelitis and she was told she needed the above-the-knee amputation. This was carried out in 2006 at Glan Clwyd General Hospital. However, following the amputation, it was discovered that she had not been suffering from chronic osteomyelitis and the operation had not been necessary.

As a result of this medical negligence, Ms Richards suffered pain and a loss of independence and mobility. Her marriage also suffered as she became more dependent on the care of her husband.

Ms Richards found it difficult to adapt to the new prosthesis and a result she suffered various falls. One of these resulted in multiple spinal fractures.

A firm of medical negligence solicitors, Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors LLP, took up Michelle’s case which was settled when Betsi Cadwaladr Local Health Board offered adequate compensation for the error.

Whilst medical negligence or personal injury compensation does not right a wrong, it goes some way towards improving the lifestyle of sufferers, a spokesman for the law firm said.

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