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Peripheral ischaemia is a serious condition in which blood flow to a limb is restricted by narrowing or blockage of the arteries.

'Ischaemia’ means inadequate supply of oxygenated blood to an organ or part of the body. ‘Peripheral ischaemia’ refers to lack of blood supply to a limb.

Protecting our clients when negligently caused injuries leave them with a future risk of amputation

Where a negligently caused severe injury leaves the individual at risk of needing an amputation in the future, a claim can be made for provisional damages, in which settlement is secured for the current injury, preserving the claimant’s right to return to court for more compensation in the event that the anticipated future amputation occurs.

Recent cases include:

  • £900,000 compensation for a 57-year-old client who suffered a below-knee amputation as a result of a vascular surgeon’s failure to surgically treat a popliteal aneurysm. After 15 months of conservative treatment, in which he was monitored but did not undergo surgery, he developed a thrombosed popliteal artery aneurysm. He underwent surgery but required a below-knee amputation. Our client’s compensation included replacing his lost earnings as a result of no longer being able to carry out his former job, and necessary adaptations to his home.
  • £750,000 compensation for a nurse who needed amputation of her left hand, right hand (fingers and thumb), toes of the left foot, and right leg below the knee, after negligent treatment of post-operative sepsis and necrotising fasciitis. She suffered septic shock, multi-system organ failure, ischaemia, brachial thrombosis and peripheral vascular compromise which led to gangrene in her hands and feet. She also suffered a psychological injury. The hospital denied liability and our client’s previous solicitors told her that her claim could not be pursued. She approached us for help. We pursued the claim  and negotiated an out of court settlement which enabled our client to pay for prostheses, therapies, specialist equipment, an adapted car and adaptations to her  home.
  • £450,000 compensation for a 70-year-old client who suffered a below-knee amputation as a result of mismanagement of his anticoagulant medication during and after surgery. He had a medical history of thrombosis and popliteal vascular disease and had an increased risk of thrombosis and femoral artery occlusion (blockage). The hospital error led to him suffering a thrombosis, an ischaemic foot (from lack of blood flow to the limb) and amputation. Earlier in the claim we secured an admission of liability, apology, and interim payments for our client to ease his financial hardship and pay for a bespoke prosthetic limb.
  • £150,000 compensation for a client who lost her central vision in one eye after GP failure to diagnose  ‘amaurosis fugax’ transient retinal ischaemic attacks and refer her to a stroke/TIA clinic for urgent treatment. She has a 1% risk of total blindness if she develops glaucoma in her other eye in future. Correct treatment would have preserved her vision. The GP denied liability throughout the claim, but settlement was reached before trial.
  • A substantial settlement for a man in his sixties who suffered an above knee amputation after negligent hospital treatment of a popliteal aneurysm. A blood clot from the aneurysm blocked the blood supply to his leg. He underwent emergency surgery but it was too late to avoid an above knee amputation.

The classic signs of acute limb ischaemia are sometimes known as the six Ps:

PAIN

This refers to when the limb is at rest. Pain on walking might indicate intermittent claudication which is an early, treatable sign of peripheral arterial disease.

PALLOR

Pallor means an unhealthy, pale appearance. An acutely ischaemic limb often appears white in comparison to the other limb. Other discolouration of the limb, such as abnormally pink, blue, mottled or black, suggests more chronic or advanced ischaemia.

PARAESTHESIA

Paraesthesia is an abnormal sensation, such as pins and needles, or numbness.

PARALYSIS

Paralysis is an advanced sign which suggests an element of irreversible ischaemia.

PERISHINGLY COLD

The limb feels very cold when compared to the other limb.

PULSELESSNESS

If there is no pulse and ischaemia is suspected, arterial Doppler signals should be checked.

Who is at risk from peripheral ischaemia?

Individuals with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, coronary artery and smokers of any age are at increased risk.

1 in 3 diabetics over the age of 50 are affected by peripheral arterial disease.

1 in 5 (20%) of all adults over the age of 60 are believed to have peripheral arterial disease to some degree.

Peripheral ischaemia is one of the most common types of serious claim against GPs

Peripheral ischaemia is one of the most common types of serious medical negligence claim against general practitioners. This is because delay or failure to diagnose the condition or inadequate or delayed treatment leads to devastating consequences for the sufferer, including ulceration, gangrene and the loss of the limb.

    Peripheral ischaemia claims arising from surgery

    Limb ischaemia leading to amputation can also be caused by surgical errors or delays, such as:

    • Surgical injury to the popliteal artery.
    • Failure to protect a patient with a known risk of thrombosis by appropriate peri-operative anti-coagulation.  
    • Delay in surgery to treat a popliteal aneurysm, leading to amputation
    • If lower limb revascularisation by angioplasty (a procedure to improve blood flow by widening the artery by inserting a balloon or stent) is negligently delayed, leading to avoidable amputation, this may also result in a claim.
    Read more

    Meet your team

    Susan Brown

    Partner

    Richard Money-Kyrle

    Partner

    Julie Marsh

    Senior associate - solicitor

    Vanessa Wand

    Senior associate - solicitor

    Rachel Makore

    Associate - solicitor

    Alpa Rana

    Associate - solicitor

    Fran Rothwell

    Associate solicitor

    Sita Soni

    Associate - solicitor

    Tara Byrne

    Solicitor

    Ben Ireland

    Solicitor

    Audrey Elmore

    Medical records coordinator

    Nicky Melville

    Professional support assistant

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    What does amputation mean?

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    Is a prosthetic limb suitable for everyone?

    Can you get a different prosthesis if you are not happy with your NHS prosthesis?

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    Peripheral ischaemia cases

    Awards & Accreditations

    Our teams have been nationally recognised over the past decade for their dedication and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients

    What our clients say

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    "I would like to say a huge thank you to Fran Rothwell"

    I would like to say a huge thank you to Fran Rothwell for the exceptional work that she has carried out on my behalf. She is knowledgeable, efficient and has great attention to detail.Fran has kept me informed throughout the entire process and has been a great support to me, always being at the end of the phone, or on an email, whenever I needed her. She truly wants the best for her client and is passionate about getting justice. Fran also has a kind and compassionate nature and takes her time to explain what is going on in a clear and simple way. This has been extremely helpful to me during a difficult time.It is certainly reassuring having such strong women behind me.

    Boyes Turner Client

    "The journey with Julie was interesting! "

    From a speculative inquiry to a life changing award, the journey with Julie Marsh was interesting. Julie kept me informed along the way explaining exactly what was going on and more importantly why. The team that was assembled certainly knew their stuff which meant I got all the necessary support to keep going. Thank you all. 

    Kevin Ridsdale

    "Successfully negotiated a full and fair compensation"

    Boyes Turner staff were always helpful and quick to respond. Communicating from the other side of the world presented no problems. Boyes Turner secured generous early interim payments that allowed me to continue my (non-funded) medical treatment that otherwise I could never have afforded. My Boyes Turner solicitor successfully negotiated a full and fair compensation and continuation of funding for future medical treatment and associated costs giving me great peace of mind. Thank you so much Annabelle! I would recommend Boyes Turner solicitors. They are professional, courteous and helpful. 

    Brian

    "More compensation than expected"

    "Boyes Turner provided us really great support and the staff are very professional & supportive. They kept us up to date at all stages and helped us win the case. We got more compensation than expected. We will definitely recommend them to our friends". 

    Boyes Turner client

    "Clear and understandable advice"

    Your explanations and advice were clear and understandable and seemed eminently sensible. Clearly they were, with the result achieved. 

    Eddie West