The Andalusian Supreme Court (TSJA) has sentenced the regional health board to pay out 171,300 euros to an ex-patient at Hospital Santa Ana. The original sum set a the provincial court was 126,700 euros but the TSJA raised it by 44,600 euros.
They confirmed the original verdict of medical malpractice on the part of the hospital which resulted in the patient suffering chronic kidney failure.
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error.
The 73-year-old claimant was hospitalised in April 2014 after turning up at the A&E complaining of having suffered insomnia for some weeks. The hospital staff carried out a series of tests and found that he had a marked increase in neutrophils, which indicates a serious infection. However, despite these results the hospital took no precautionary steps other than prescribing antibiotics.
Whilst hospitalised, doctors carried out further tests and on the 14th of May he was diagnosed with catheter-bacteraemia owing to faulty sterilisation of catheter. This caused a delay in the correct diagnosis and necessary treatment. The delay resulted in this kidney failure that almost cost him his life.
The Servicio Andaluz de Salud considered that the original amount awarded in damages was too high, taking into account that the claimant already had Stage 3 Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and therefore the hospital was only responsible for the deterioration of his condition to Stage 4. For this reason the SAS considered a sum of 26,894 euros to be more reasonable.
The Regional High Court, on the other hand, considered that the patient had led a reasonably normal life in his Stage 3 condition whereas now his lifestyle is severely limited, requiring help to carry out personal hygiene and is incapable of venturing outside even for very short walks.
(News: Motril, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)