The 21-year-old victim went to a walk-in clinic with symptoms of sepsis syndrome. However, the clinic discharged her with a prescription for antibiotics after diagnosing a throat infection. The woman’s condition deteriorated rapidly and her sister rushed her to hospital the following day. The hospital diagnosed staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome and began resuscitation procedures.
Part of the procedure involved inserting a cannula into the woman’s left femoral artery. However, because she had low blood pressure, the multiple punctures produced a clot in the artery and her leg became ischeamic due to lack of blood. It then became necessary to perform an amputation.
After this incident, the victim instructed a firm of solicitors to lodge a medical negligence claim against the walk-in clinic where the misdiagnosis took place. She thought that if the GP at the clinic had assessed her condition correctly, the amputation would not have been necessary because she would have received the treatment she needed without delay. In particular, the clinic should have taken her temperature, blood pressure and pulse.
The GP claimed that he treated the victim based on the symptoms she presented with and denied liability. However, the court decided that he was negligent and awarded the victim with £1.2 million to help towards her prosthetic needs and make her life easier after the amputation.