Friday, October 26, 2007

Borders General Hospital in 100K medical negligence award to MRSA victim

Borders General hospital - known to some in the Scottish Borders as a 'butchers shop with a one way ticket to death' and to others as a life saver, is to pay an award of more than £100,000 to a victim of a quad bike accident in August 1997, who then contracted the MRSA infection at the Hospital who failed to treat it in time, necessitating the amputation of the patient's leg.

Ten years on after being forced to take the case to Court - a terrible indictment of both the Hospitals conduct in this matter, and the legal system ....

BBC News reports :

Amputation man awarded £100,000

A Borders farmer who had his leg amputated below the knee after becoming infected with MRSA has been awarded more than £100,000 by a sheriff.

Michael McColm, from Fairnilee, Galashiels, was injured when his quad bike overturned in August 1997.

He took Borders General Hospital NHS Trust to court over his treatment.

A sheriff ruled that "on the balance of probabilities" he would not have had his leg amputated but for negligence in failing to treat his MRSA infection.

Mr McColm was admitted to Borders General Hospital on 18 August, 1997 and was diagnosed with a broken leg.

NHS Borders notes the court judgment and will consider the details contained in this lengthy and complex report - NHS Borders statement

It was manipulated under anaesthetic, put in plaster and, three days later, a metal rod was inserted.

However, by 6 October a bacteriology report found a heavy growth of MRSA from the wound.

A week later a decision was made not to admit Mr McColm for intravenous antibiotics as his wound appeared to be "healthy and improving".

After that he was seen on several occasions and given various treatments - including further operations - but he remained in considerable pain.

By April 1998 his GP, unhappy at his lack of progress, referred Mr McColm to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for a second opinion.

Prof Charles Court-Brown was immediately pessimistic that his right leg could be saved.

A below the knee amputation was carried out on 18 August, 1998 - exactly a year after Mr McColm's accident.

The court heard evidence about possible MRSA treatments

In defence evidence, Sheriff James Gilmour was told that administering intravenous antibiotics was not automatic in the treatment of MRSA.

He also heard a detailed defence of the other treatments which were offered.

However, the sheriff found failings in the treatment at Borders General Hospital offered by surgeons William Dennyson, John Driver-Jowitt and Christopher Tiemessen.

He ruled that the amputation of Mr McColm's right leg below the knee was caused by the "fault and negligence" of the NHS Trust.

The sheriff awarded him a total of more than £102,000.

NHS Borders issued a short statement on the ruling.

"NHS Borders notes the court judgment and will consider the details contained in this lengthy and complex report," it said.

"It is too early to make any comments about individual parts of the judgment."

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