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Elizabeth Larner, Clinical Negligence specialist at Wollens 

Case Study

Elizabeth Larner has reached a settlement of £107,500 on behalf of a lady in relation to her consultation with an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) who failed to identify necrotising fasciitis, a life-threatening bacterial infection (also known as the flesh-eating disease) which requires urgent hospital treatment as it carries a high rate of mortality.

The lady presented at her dental practice complaining of pain in her jaw. There she was diagnosed with a fracture and jaw spasms and was prescribed antibiotics with a dental extraction planned. However, despite initial improvement, she noticed that she had developed increased pain, swelling, nausea and felt hot and cold.  

The lady then telephoned her GP Practice and spoke with a nurse about her condition. Despite having noted symptoms of infection, she did not discuss this with a member of the medical staff. Nor did she consider referring her to her dentist for an urgent review, referral to the local maxillo-facial surgery department, nor sending her to A&E.  

She was then seen by the nurse in person who then diagnosed her with inflammation of the skin and prescribed a different course of antibiotics. The lady subsequently took these antibiotics but had no improvement.  

Her condition deteriorated resulting in her presenting at A&E. There she was diagnosed with an abscess of the salivary gland and necrotising fasciitis. 

As a result of this she has had to have a number of surgeries which have left her with significant scarring around her chest and throat. One of these surgeries involving a skin graft from her thigh to reconstruct her neck and chest wall.   

Elizabeth Larner said “I am pleased to have achieved a satisfactory settlement for this lady. The Nurse Practitioner denied liability throughout, but when presented with our client’s clear witness evidence regarding how her symptoms developed prior to the appointment with the Nurse Practitioner (including photographs), a number of offers of settlement were then forthcoming”.

The lady said

“I would like to thank Wollens for helping me through the legal process. It has been a very difficult time, and without their help I wouldn’t have being able to get through the process. I would highly recommend Wollens”.

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this case study and want to find out if you have a claim, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Clinical Negligence Team at Wollens.

Contact Elizabeth Larner for a free initial consultation on 01803 225135 or via email, [email protected].   You can also go to www.wollens.co.uk and complete an online enquiry form. One of the Wollens team will contact you as soon as they are available.