Financial & Legal News

Symptoms Not Picked Up In £1 Million Medical Negligence Case

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We have recently made a successful medical negligence claim against the Pennine Acute and Central Manchester Trusts and secured a £1million settlement for a client.

When our 58 year old client went to his GP with weight loss and a cough the GP treated him with antibiotics and referred him to a respiratory expert at Rochdale Infirmary.

Mr A had no previous history of illness and had worked for 33 years as a technician at a semi-conductor plant.
A transthoracic echo cardiogram revealed that Mr A had endocarditis, which is an inflammation of the valves of the heart and he was advised by a cardiologist to have valve repair surgery.

However, blood cultures which were tested gave a negative result for the disease as its symptoms were masked by the antibiotics given by the GP.

His symptoms of weight loss, shortness of breath, fatigue and a persistent cough continued and were not picked up and planned cardiac surgery was undertaken.  It was only in surgery that it was found he had significant and active endocarditis.

Less than two weeks later Mr A required further treatment for an intracranial haematoma, a brain bleed or stroke.  As part of his medical negligence case it was alleged that there had been inadequate pre-operative investigation of the endocarditis which in turn led to his stroke.

Mr A has been left with a life-changing condition, his right side has been affected by the stroke, as has his vision, he has difficulty swallowing and communicating and has periods of depression, culminating in a suicide attempt a year after the incident.

The Trusts admitted ‘culpable pre-operative failure to diagnose infective endocarditis’ and also admitted that the endocarditis would have been eradicated by an appropriate course of antibiotics.

The case had been due to proceed this month, but a settlement of £1million was made prior to a court appearance.

Commenting on the awards, Medical Negligence Partner, John Pollitt said:  “My client will need a lifetime of care, speech therapy, physiotherapy and help with his accommodation and the award reflects this.”

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

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