Woman suffers amputation of three limbs after hospital misses case of sepsis
A 31-year old mother of two had to have both of her legs and her right arm amputated after staff at Luton & Dunstable University Hospital failed to identify her sepsis. Magdalena Malec, who also needed to have the fingers of her left hand removed, suffered the amputations due to medical negligence that senior staff at the hospital acknowledge could have been avoided.
Having discovered in December 2014 that she was pregnant with her third child, Magdalena was told a matter of weeks later that she had suffered a miscarriage. In actual fact, she had suffered an ectopic pregnancy, something she only found out when she returned to the hospital on December 25th. While in recovery from surgery she received following the discovery, the hospital staff’s failure to follow their own sepsis protocol led to major complications.
The loss of blood supply caused by medical staff not recognising the classic sepsis warning signs led to Magdalena developing widespread limb ischaemia, which caused much of her body tissue to die, resulting in the multiple limb amputations. Magdalena had to wait for six months for the amputations, returning to the hospital three times each week for dialysis, as she also required a life-saving kidney transplant during the harrowing ordeal.
In her own words, the series of events have drastically impacted her life: “Now my life is not a life, I was waiting for six months for the amputation of my limbs, with decaying legs and arms. Nothing will restore what I have” she stated, going on to share that “I do not trust doctors and am very sceptical about medical appointments and diagnoses. That hospital hurt me badly and I will probably never trust any hospital again.”
Magdalena, whose relationship with her partner Robert broke down during her course of treatment and the pressure of dealing with her new disabilities, has brought a clinical negligence claim against the hospital trust who are responsible for the Luton & Dunstable University Hospital, who say they apologise unreservedly and accept that the outcomes could have been avoided. Magdalena has received an interim compensation amount to help alleviate current financial hardships, with a full settlement expected in due course.
A spokesman for the hospital stated “the Trust wishes to convey its sincere apologies to Ms Malec and recognises that the care provided to her in 2014 fell below the standards that we strive for. The Trust undertook an investigation to examine what improvements could be put in place, and learnings from this were shared in order to prevent similar cases. We would like to assure Ms Malec, and all other patients, that we continue to work towards ensuring the quality of our services are maintained and improved where possible.”
The UK Sepsis Trust reports that every year in the UK, around 260,000 people contract sepsis, with over 40,000 of those cases ending in deaths and 60,000 bringing life-changing consequences. If you or a loved one has suffered from a case of sepsis that you believe may have been a result of medical negligence, you should contact our clinical negligence team today. We’re available by phone on 0151 236 1222 or 0800 888 6 888, by email at or web form via our Contact page. Get in touch with our expert personal injury solicitors today to discuss the legal options available to you.