Little girl who had all her limbs amputated after NHS mistake gets awarded £39 million
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A young girl who had all of her limbs amputated after being wrongly discharged from hospital has been awarded a payout of £39 million from the NHS.
The child, who has not been named publicly, was taken to Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey after experiencing a high fever, drowsiness and vomiting.
The symptoms she was displaying were later described as 'red flags for meningitis and sepsis’, but doctors at the hospital didn't initially provide a correct diagnosis and instead discharged her after giving her paracetamol.
A few hours later, the girl's parents took her back to A&E amid concerns over the development of a rash and the fever.
It wasn't until this second visit that she was diagnosed with meningococcal sepsis; when bacteria enter the bloodstream and cause bleeding into the skin and organs.
The child was then rushed to the paediatric intensive care unit of another hospital, where she suffered from multiple organ failure.
Following the diagnosis, she had to have amputations above the knees of both of her legs, and amputations above the elbows on both of her arms.
She also had to undergo several procedures, including skin grafts, to treat the infection, but her family argued she would not have been as ill or needed the multiple amputations if she had been treated urgently with antibiotics in the first instance.
The family brought a claim against Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, which admitted liability.
The trust reached an agreement with the family at High Court in London on Friday (20 January), where Judge Caspar Glyn KC said he would approve the settlement of around £39 million ‘unhesitatingly’.
The money will be paid part in a lump sum and the rest in annual payments spanning the rest of the girl's life.
Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel KC, who represented the girl and her family, described the child as an 'extraordinarily brave little girl who is managing in school to do very well academically' following her health issues.
Deborah Nadel, from the same law firm, said the injuries and 'severe disabilities' would have been 'completely avoidable with proper care'.
"All the red flags for meningitis and sepsis were there for doctors to see," Nadel continued, adding: "Specific protocols for treating these illnesses exist to protect patients and doctors, but they only work if they are followed.
"Settlement will help provide the girl with the equipment, therapy and aids she needs and will help her live her most fulfilling life, despite what happened to her. She is brave and she is determined."
Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Neil Dardis apologised to the girl and her family in a letter heard in court, which stated that her care 'fell below the standard (the girl) was entitled to expect’ and that she should not have been discharged from the hospital.