Clinical Negligence

Patient recovered £565,000 when hospital delayed diagnosis of a heart condition causing heart attack

The clinical negligence team demonstrated their expertise when they recently recovered a substantial sum and a formal apology for a patient who suffered permanent damage to her heart as a result of a hospital’s failure to diagnose acute coronary syndrome and later myocardial infarction and provide treatment with anticoagulants.

In the case of XY v Medway NHS Foundation Trust [2012] the claimant was referred to hospital by her general practitioner with symptoms including shortness of breath and chest pain with a request that the hospital perform a chest x-ray and ECG. The claimant attended hospital twice within three days. She was a high risk patient having a family history of myocardial infarction as well as being overweight and a smoker. On both visits, there was a failure to properly interpret ECG testing and take a proper account of risk factors. She was inappropriately discharged without being given antiplatelet agents and heparin.

After the service of court proceedings, the defendant admitted the alleged breach of duty and that this had caused the claimant to suffer significant and permanent damage to her heart.

As a result of the injury to her heart, the claimant suffered symptoms of breathlessness and chest pain on exertion that had a major impact on her life and restricted her options in employment. She needed to take medication which caused symptoms of dizziness and light headedness and urinary frequency. She was appreciably restricted in the job market and the parties’ experts agreed that she would require single storey accommodation.

The defendant made a formal apology which was deeply appreciated by the claimant. Terms of settlement for a substantial sum were agreed shortly before trial.

Graham Bell specialises in cardiology cases. If you would like to speak to Graham about a question involving cardiology or you have a general query about medical negligence contact him on 01892 701358 in confidence.

We have one of the largest and most experienced specialist medical negligence teams in Southern England including London. Our team of highly experienced lawyers has the depth and range of expertise essential in this sensitive and often complex area of law. Our clinical negligence team is very proud to be ranked Number 1 in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners UK.

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