£35,000 secured for widow whose late husband was left on commode for at least 13 hours

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Ruth Houghton, a medical negligence specialist at Ashtons Legal, has obtained £35,000 for a widow whose late husband was left on a commode in a care home for at least 13 hours.

Mr S suffered from vertigo migraines which reduced his mobility and responsiveness. He resided in a care home and received round-the-clock care. He was taking Noratriptyline for this condition. Due to a communication error, this medication was incorrectly stopped on 31 July 2020, which resulted in an increase in his vertigo migraine symptoms.

On the evening of 22 August 2020, Mr S was placed on his commode, he was found still on his commode on the morning of 23 August 2020, having been there at least 13 hours.

There had been a failure to conduct his usual four to six hour incontinent care, and as a result, he developed a sacral sore. As a result of his vertigo migraines, Mr S was unable to assist himself in this situation.

Sadly, Mr S developed sepsis as a result of the deep infected sore. He tragically died from these injuries on 3 October 2022.

An Inquest was held, during which the Coroner remarked: “Being left seated for a protracted overnight period, unsupervised and without the basic care, amounts to neglect.”

The widow of Mr S has been deeply traumatised by what happened to her husband and hopes that no family has to lose a loved one in this same way.

Ruth Houghton comments: “Sadly, events like this are not as rare as you would like to think. Vulnerable patients in settings relying on assistance for even the most basic of needs are often subject to care which falls below an acceptable standard. The effects of which, as evidenced above, can be devastating. Mr S suffered a terrible ordeal leading up to his death, and this has undoubtedly caused additional heartache to his family.”

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