Medical Negligence

Elderly woman who developed DVTs in both legs felt ‘let down’ by London hospital after failure to provide medication

DVT scan

Rachel O’Connor

Senior Litigation Executive

5 min read time

The daughter of an elderly London woman who felt “let down” after medical negligence led to her developing DVTs in both legs says that she was motivated to pursue a claim in her mother’s memory after she passed away.

Patricia, from Brixton, died aged 76 unrelated to the deep vein thrombosis (DVT) she suffered due to the omission of various doses of her anti-DVT medication during her admission to hospital for surgery.

On January 5, 2019, Patricia was an inpatient at King’s College Hospital in London, where she began to complain of leg pain and both legs were noted to be swollen.

A scan confirmed DVTs – a medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein – in blood vessels extending into her thighs on both legs.

Patricia had an IVC filter inserted – which catches blood clots and stops them from moving up to the heart and lungs – and was started on doses of anticoagulant medication.

A letter from the general surgeon dated April 2, 2019 stated: “I apologised for the fact that she developed DVT and which was attributed to omission of a few doses of her anti-DVT prophylaxis. When I explained this to her she burst into tears, but was supported by her daughter.

“I have assured her this is being investigated and steps are being taken to prevent this from happening again.”

Hudgell Solicitors helps woman make medical negligence claim

Patricia, with the help of her daughter, then made a claim through Hudgell Solicitors against the King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London due to the omission of her medication leading to the DVTs.

“My mother felt like she had been let down and so when she died I wanted to pursue the case in her memory,” her daughter said.

“I helped her to get the ball rolling with the claim as there was negligence here and we needed to pursue it.

“She was treated for the DVTs, but she was still in pain and discomfort from the time she was discharged right up until she died.

“Even though she was an elderly woman, my mum was an active woman. It was nothing for her to walk a mile and a half to Brixton and back, that was quite easy for her before all this, but she got to the point where she couldn’t even walk out of the bedroom to go the kitchen.

“Initially they wanted to fob her off and just say they were going to put procedures in place, but she said she wanted a letter of apology which she received shortly before she passed away.”

King’s College Hospital Trust makes admissions in medical negligence claim

Patricia and later her daughter were represented by Rachel O’Connor, Litigation Executive in the Clinical Negligence team at Hudgell Solicitors.

Ms O’Connor said: “After a letter of claim was sent in October 2020, the hospital trust sent a response in which it accepted that it breached its duty of care to my client during the hospital admission by failing to provide appropriate anti-DVT medication.

“The trust also accepted the allegation that the omission to administer various doses of Clexane in January 2019 caused Patricia to suffer DVTs in both legs, requiring placement of an IVC filter.

“Following receipt of the letter of response, however, sadly Patricia passed away and therefore enquiries were made with the family before her daughter continued the claim on behalf of the estate.”

Ms O’Connor entered into negotiations with the hospital trust to secure a settlement in the case and an offer of £8,500 in medical negligence compensation was accepted by Patricia’s daughter.

“When the case settled I felt happy in one sense and some relief and closure because the DVT had been dealt with and they had acknowledged that,” said the daughter, who wished for only her mother’s first name to be used.

“In terms of the mental trauma they placed on her and the care she actually received, that wasn’t satisfied as I couldn’t pursue that because my mum wasn’t alive to give further details in terms of what had actually happened.”

Medical negligence lawyer praised for how she handled DVT compensation case

The daughter was full of praise for the professional, compassionate approach adopted by Ms O’Connor in the case.

She added: “Rachel was very good as she would periodically call my mum to check on her outside of the case to see if she was okay, which I thought was really nice of her to do as she didn’t have to do that, so that showed genuine care towards her client.

“I found her to be very professional and also very efficient in terms of keeping us up to date.

“Rachel communicated her messages in a clear and concise way that was easily understood without complicated legal jargon.

“We had someone who understood how we were feeling, understood the case and I felt confident that she could advocate for us.”

If you have suffered a blood clot or DVT and are unsure if you may be eligible to make a claim, get in touch with our team of medical negligence experts for free, no obligation advice. Click here to get in touch today >>

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