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Posted on 7th August 2017

Hospital Error Causes Lower Leg Amputation In Diabetic Patient

A Portsmouth woman banged her toe on her wheelchair and had to have her leg amputated below the knee due to errors by a hospital in Portsmouth.

The 61 year old diabetic woman attended her GP after banging her big toe on her wheelchair because it hurt so much. Two weeks later she was referred to hospital because her toe became infected and the pain became worse.

The hospital admitted the woman and kept her in for three nights but whilst at the hospital she contracted sepsis. Her injured toe became increasingly more painful and was weeping.

Because of the severity of the infection, the hospital decided to remove the woman’s toe but during surgery it was discovered that the infection had spread. Surgeons had to remove the woman’s leg below the knee.

The sepsis infection was as a result of being given poor care when managing her stubbed toe and diabetic condition.

The woman commented “it is hard to comprehend how a stubbed toe – something I’m sure most people have done on more than one occasion – could result in such a catastrophic injury”

She is now looking to sue the hospital for a “huge oversight in [her] care” and her solicitors are obtaining expert evidence to support her medical negligence compensation claim. She is looking for answers as to why the standard of care fell below what she expected given that she was a diabetic patient and her medical records would have contained this information.


Diabetes is a condition which, without proper care can cause significant medical complications as this case demonstrates. Management of foot injuries in Diabetes patients is known to be a major cause for patients making a clinical negligence compensation claim. Diabetes UK report that around 80% of amputations in diabetic patients are completely avoidable if the correct care is given.

Often, diabetes causes nerve damage in feet and when feet become numb, the sufferer does not feel things such as a stone in their shoe. Objects such as this causes deep tissue damage resulting in ulcers and infections. If an infection is present for too long, amputation may be the only course of action. You can find our pointers on diabetic care planning here. 

If you have had an amputation due to diabetes which you think could have been avoided contact us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment.