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Failure to Diagnose an Ischemic Foot

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Pearson Medical Negligence Solicitors secured £10,000 in damages when our client lost her independence due to a failure in treating her promptly and efficiently led to more serious consequences.

Medical Negligence Case

In this case, the lady attended her GPs surgery on two separate occasions complaining of pain, burning and pins and needles in her right foot.  The foot had become discoloured and cold and despite our client having a history of diabetes and deep vein thrombosis the GPs who assessed her were reassuring and prescribed strong oral and topical analgesics.

Her pain continued, further restricting her mobility and she consulted a private Podiatrist.  Following an assessment they recommended an urgent vascular review as they were concerned that a patient with diabetes, a history of DVT and who had a cold painful foot that showed obvious discolouration could be limb ischaemia; which is a restriction in blood supply to tissues, causing a shortage of oxygen that is needed for cellular metabolism (to keep tissue alive).

The Podiatrist contacted the GP and asked that his patient be referred urgently for review by a Vascular Specialist.

Unfortunately, the GP did not make the referral until 7 days later and it was not marked as urgent.  Our client’s condition deteriorated and she required urgent admission to Hospital.  Here she was diagnosed with acute on chronic right leg ischemia and underwent urgent right lower limb arterial thrombectomy and angioplasty.

Sadly she endured a protracted recovery following surgery complicated by sepsis following which she spent some time in a rehabilitation and recovery centre before being discharged home.  Her foot was necrotic, with irreversible tissue and nerve damage.

Commenting on the case, medical negligence solicitor, Jacqueline White said:  “I was instructed to investigate a claim for medical negligence damages against her GPs in this case and experts in General Practice and Vascular Surgery supported the case that our client should have been referred earlier for urgent vascular review, following which an earlier diagnosis of  limb ischaemia would have been made, surgery would have been undertaken at an earlier time and, on the balance of probabilities, re-vascularisation would have occurred leading to a more improved outcome .”

The Defendants

The Defendants’ representatives denied liability but later agreed to a settlement based on an appreciation of the risk of losing the case at trial and the client recovered £10,000 in damages.

“The striking thing about this case was that it involved a lady who, prior to the medical negligence, despite her advancing years was fiercely independent, had a range of social interests and was living in the marital home she cherished” said Jacqueline.

Sadly, the poor state of her foot following surgery was such that she was no longer able to remain living alone in her home and was forced to move into supported accommodation and seek paid assistance with household chores.

“The sum of money she secured by way of damages paled in comparison to the loss of her mobility and independence but she was happy to have taken a stand and hoped lessons would be learned and patient safety would be improved” added Jacqueline White.

For advice or a no obligation chat on any medical negligence issue, or to see if you have a case to answer call the Pearson Medical Negligence Solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or email

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Jacqueline White


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