A patient who suffered a severe infection following a hip replacement operation at a Sheffield hospital is taking legal action to uncover the true cause of her injury.
The 60-year-old woman became unwell after undergoing surgery at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital – where two operating theatres have been closed for months after a spate of infections.
She has now instructed medical negligence lawyers to investigate.
The facilities were closed after more than 20 patients who underwent hip or knee replacements developed deep wound infections. The Health Protection Agency said ventilation systems were working correctly and medics were not at fault – but an anteroom shared by the theatres might be increasing the risk of bacteria spreading.
Measures to reorganise Theatres 3 and 4 are underway, with work expected to be complete by September.
The woman, from Worksop, who has not been named, had a hip replacement in April last year.
Just three months later she had the hip removed because of an infection – then suffered a further serious infection requiring more surgery.
Another replacement hip was provided at the Northern General.
Hayley Cullabine, a solicitor from law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “Our client has had an awful time and when she got the letter saying her infection may have been linked to problems with the operating theatre she was naturally very concerned.
“We are investigating exactly what happened and have written to the NHS trust to request further details and documents so we can help provide the answers.”
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ medical director Dr David Throssell previously said the trust ‘could not be certain’ any particular infection was connected to the two theatres.
Patients booked in for hip or knee surgery in Sheffield are being sent to the Northern General, the private Thornbury Hospital, or the Care UK centre in Barlborough, Chesterfield.