Failure to Diagnose Deep Vein Thrombosis leads compensation
A patient who paid for private medical care pursued a case recently when doctors failed to diagnose post-operative DVT.
The failure to diagnose deep vein thrombosis resulted in a settlement of £25,705 when the lady developed a pulmonary embolus which required extensive treatment and a prolonged hospital admission.
Our client (Mrs W) had severe varicose veins in her left leg which caused her significant difficulties but her GP said he could only refer her for varicose vein surgery on the NHS if the skin was broken.
She paid privately for endovenous laser therapy to be carried out at the BMI The Highfield Hospital, Rochdale. The surgery was performed under a local anaesthetic, our client was discharged later the same day and advised to keep a compression stocking on for ten days and to continue with her regular analgesia.
On returning home she experience severe pain, her thigh was red and bruised and her mobility affected. The hospital advised her to expect some bruising after the procedure and to continue with her painkillers.
However, her condition deteriorated, her mobility was reduced, her vision became distorted, she started to see yellow flashing lights, became delusional and so she went back to Highfield Hospital. Mrs W’s leg was examined by a resident medical officer but no other observations were taken i.e. pulse, temperature, blood pressure, respiration rate or oxygen saturation levels and she was told the bruising would subside.
She later collapsed at home and was taken to the Royal Oldham Hospital A&E where she was diagnosed with pulmonary embolus on her right lung and an infection, she was prescribed powerful antibiotics and remained in hospital for six days.
Mrs W instructed Pearson Solicitors to investigate her clinical negligence claim. Expert evidence was secured in support of her claim and damages of £25,705 were recovered from the treating clinician’s insurers.
Commenting on the case Kenneth Lees, specialist clinical negligence solicitor, said “If the doctor reviewing Mrs W had taken a detailed history and actually examined her leg then deep vein thrombosis would have been part of his differential diagnosis. Appropriate follow on tests would have led to the commencement of therapeutic anticoagulation and a transfer to hospital for further treatment. Expert evidence confirmed that in this event it would more likely than not prevented the pulmonary embolus that subsequently occurred, and Mrs W would have avoided the deterioration, hospital admission and distress that was caused to her”.
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