A PATIENT who suffered “significant” burns when a hospital wrongly used a heated mattress during surgery has received a payout.

Paul Hickman, aged 44, suffered burns to his buttocks and the back of both his thighs during surgery to improve the circulation in his leg at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley in March 2021.

Following the incident, Mr Hickman, who lives near Walsall town centre, instructed medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate.

An NHS investigation report found Mr Hickman suffered his injuries after the use of heated mattresses was stopped in the type of procedure he underwent after another patient was burnt several years earlier.

Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust admitted a breach of duty and acknowledged that it was inappropriate to use the type of heated mattress during the procedure, according to Irwin Mitchell.

The trust has apologised to Mr Hickman, who has now received an undisclosed settlement.

Dudley News: Mr Hickman suffered significant burnsMr Hickman suffered significant burns (Image: Irwin Mitchell)

Mr Hickman said: “I hoped that the surgery would go well and would improve my health.

"However, all I remember afterwards was being in severe pain. To be told I had suffered burns was a complete shock and at first was difficult to try and take in. I couldn’t understand how that had happened.

“The pain from the burns and scars I had all down the back of the tops of my legs was unbearable. I was in so much pain and painkillers didn’t really take the edge off.

“While it’s nearly two years since the incident it still affects my life. While the burns are healing I still have a lot of marks and scars and I’ve been told I’ll have some scarring for life.

“Because of my injuries I now have to sit differently and lean more to the side. They feel dry and scaly and I have to apply cream.

“While nothing will make up for what’s happened I’m pleased that I’ve at least got answers and I can try to start looking to the future rather than dwelling on the past.

“I just hope that by sharing my story it prevents anything like this happening to anyone else".

Alexandra Roberts, the medical negligence specialist at Irwin Mitchell representing Paul, said: “While nothing will make up what he’s been through, we’re pleased to have provided him with the answers he deserves. We now call on the Trust to ensure it learns all lessons possible from Paul’s case so that its guidance around the use of heated mattresses is upheld at all times.”

Diane Wake, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust said: "We would like to offer our sincere apologies again to Mr Hickman for the burns he sustained during surgery in 2021.

"We are glad to have reached a settlement and wish him all the best for the future.

"We carried out a comprehensive review into the incident and this particular type of heated mattress, while appropriate in most surgical procedures, is no longer used for the type of vascular procedure which was undertaken on Mr Hickman".