Plymouth Mother Sues Ambulance Service After Dog Bite Leads to Sepsis and Amputations

A 45-year-old mother, Michelle Ellis, is suing South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust for alleged negligence after paramedics advised her to stay home with paracetamol following a dog bite, leading to sepsis, multi-organ failure, and partial amputations of her fingers and thumbs. The incident occurred in Plymouth, UK, in January 2021, and Ellis is now seeking compensation of over £200,000 for the life-altering consequences she has suffered." This description focuses on the primary topic of medical negligence, the main entity of Michelle Ellis, and the context of the incident in Plymouth, UK. It also highlights the significant actions and consequences of the paramedics' advice, which led to severe health complications for Ellis. The objective details provided will help guide the AI in creating an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as depicting a person with amputated fingers and thumbs, a hospital setting, and a sense of urgency and distress.

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Nitish Verma
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Plymouth Mother Sues Ambulance Service After Dog Bite Leads to Sepsis and Amputations

Plymouth Mother Sues Ambulance Service After Dog Bite Leads to Sepsis and Amputations

Michelle Ellis, a 45-year-old mother of four from Plymouth, is taking legal action against South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) for alleged negligence after paramedics advised her to stay home with paracetamol following a dog bite, leading to sepsis, multi-organ failure, and partial amputations of her fingers and thumbs.

Why this matters: This case highlights the potential consequences of medical negligence and the importance of accurate diagnosis and treatment, especially in emergency situations. It also raises questions about the training and protocols in place for paramedics to handle similar cases in the future.

The incident occurred on January 15, 2021, when Ellis was bitten twice by her family dog on her right wrist and outer forearm. Two days later, she experienced "flu-like symptoms" and called an ambulance. Paramedics attended to Ellis between 23:08 on January 15, 2021, and 00:23 the following day, but allegedly advised her to stay home and take paracetamol despite her showing them her bruised skin with a mottled appearance and complaining of a high temperature, breathlessness, and shivering.

Ellis's health quickly worsened, leading to an urgent admission to Derriford Hospital, where she experienced multi-organ failure, was induced into a coma, resuscitated multiple times, and diagnosed with severe sepsis. As a result of her medical ordeal, Ellis underwent partial amputations on all her digits and an emergency tracheostomy to facilitate breathing.

Ellis is now seeking compensation of over £200,000, alleging that the negligence of paramedics led to serious long-term effects. Court papers state: "The claimant's (Ms Ellis) injuries were caused or materially contributed to by the negligence of the Defendant (SWASFT), its servants or agents in the mismanagement of the Claimant's treatment." Ellis's lawyers argue that the paramedics owed her a duty of care and that the defendant is vicariously liable for any breach of such duty.

The consequences of the incident have been severe for Ellis. She is now unable to fully use her hands and experiences pain in her fingers. She alleges she has been left with PTSD and depression following the incident. Court documents reveal: "She has been left with significant cosmetic defects and significant loss of function in her hands which will be permanent. She also experiences pain and sensitivity in the tips of her index fingers which will probably improve but, if it does not, will require further surgery."

A representative for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust stated: "It would be inappropriate for us to comment at this stage." The legal case is ongoing, with Ellis seeking justice and compensation for the life-altering consequences she has suffered due to the alleged negligence of the paramedics who attended to her following the dog bite incident.

Key Takeaways

  • Mother of 4 sues paramedics for negligence after dog bite led to sepsis and amputations.
  • Paramedics advised her to stay home with paracetamol despite showing symptoms.
  • She experienced multi-organ failure, sepsis, and underwent partial amputations.
  • Seeking £200,000+ in compensation for long-term effects, including PTSD and depression.
  • Case raises questions about paramedic training and protocols for similar cases.