1st February 2024

Names have been changed to protect confidentiality

I had a call from a neighbour’s sister, Jill, who knew I was a nurse and was worried about her good friend Dulcie. Dulcie had problems with her legs and despite seeing various doctors and nurses no one could find an appropriate solution. Dulcie remained stoic but Jill could see she was suffering.


Dulcie was 92, happy, healthy, and very independent. She booked herself into a care home to convalesce after having a knee operation. Two weeks later her legs were red, hot and swollen. She could only sleep in her chair as the bedding on her legs was too painful. The visiting doctors assumed this was age related and suggested her legs should be elevated. Over time they became worse and Dulcie ended up in hospital with cellulitis.

What can we do?

As a Lymphoedema Nurse, I recognised the signs and symptoms of cellulitis which can be easily confused with inflammatory leg problems. I discussed this with Jill and guided her to the British Lymphology Society (BLS) and Legs Matter websites. Jill and her husband downloaded documents and presented these to hospital staff. As a result Dulcies treatment was changed and her legs improved.


The hospital doctors and GPs did listen to Jill after being shown the appropriate information and guidelines from Legs Matter and the BLS. Although a little fragile, Dulcie is gaining strength, her legs have gone down to their nice shape, she can walk without pain, sleeps in bed and is planning to go back home. Dulcie said she is grateful for all help to make people take notice. However, this was without doubt a team effort!

Where can I get information?


Oedema and lymphoedema

What is lymphoedema (


Signs and symptoms of cellulitis

Guidelines on the management of cellulitis

Red leg pathway (inflammatory legs)

Other documents

Legs Matter’s position on harm for leg and foot conditions

Legs Matter’s 10 point plan to tackle harm

No harm in asking – questions to ask a GP or Nurse

Teamwork quote "Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much", Helen Keller

31 Teamwork Quotes That Will Fire Up Your Team! – Bit Blog