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March 30th 2021

Medical Negligence

Delays in diagnosis and failures to communicate likely played ‘significant role’ in patients death

Delays in diagnosis and failures to communicate likely played ‘significant role’ in patients death

A series of errors including a delay in diagnosis, a loss of medical records and a failure to communicate is likely to have played a part in the death of our client.

A series of errors including a delay in diagnosis, a loss of medical records and a failure to communicate is likely to have played a part in the death of our client.

After suffering a number of issues in relation to her pacemaker, tests showed that our client was in need of a reset which did not take place even though medical records showed it was essential.

Had she been contacted and brought to hospital, she may not have suffered cardiac arrest and died when she did.

When suffering symptoms on 13th March 2017, our client made the decision to visit her doctor.

She had started to feel unwell. She was gaunt, had a swollen abdomen, visible weight loss and suffered what she thought were acid refluxes. This caused her to eat sparingly and faint on numerous occasions.

At this point she complained of palpitations and episodes of dizziness.

She was soon referred to hospital for a routine 24 hour electrocardiogram (ECG) test. It took 3 months for the ECG monitor to be fitted.

After waiting the initial 3 months for the much needed test, it transpired that its results were not submitted which brought a further 6 week delay before realisation that the investigation had gone missing.

On 13th July our client wrote to the hospital requesting her results but received no response.

One week on, she visited A&E with chest tightness and shortness of breath. The ECG results in turn showed paced rhythm with atrial fibrillation and an abnormal heart rhythm.

She was advised to follow up with her GP to ensure a referral to cardiology could be made.

Later that month on 28th July she visited to follow up the results but the results could not be found.

An urgent decision was made to fit our client with a 24-hour ECG monitor that day and the physiologist was booked to read the tape immediately once it was available. These results were to be escalated right away.

The test showed her pacemaker was malfunctioning and showed poor pacemaker capture.

Results were escalated to an on call specialist registrar who attempted to urgently call our client.

The registrar made two attempts to phone our client. One call lasted 17 seconds and one 25 seconds.

The doctor could not recall the two calls connecting, but recalled getting through to the mobile’s answerphone on one occasion.

She did not leave a message, but intended to call her back before the end of her shift which was due to finish at 8pm that evening, if there was no answer again, she would arrange for an ambulance to bring her to the hospital to have her pacemaker reset.

No further attempts were made to contact our client.

At 7:30pm that day, our client was rushed to hospital after suffering cardiac arrest and being resuscitated by paramedics at home.

She was admitted to intensive care and sadly died on August 3, 2017.

The medical negligence compensation claim legal case

The husband of the deceased contacted our medical negligence specialists on her behalf and solicitor Rhea Javed was able to act.

He sadly passed away during the course of the claim so the executors of the estate continued.

Throughout the case, the defendant was co-operative and patient. Whilst there were some minor disputes on damages, both parties felt that a fair settlement was overall obtained and £22,500 damages were agreed.

The case settled out of court.

Hudgell Solicitors comment on medical negligence claim

Medical negligence solicitor Rhea Javed said: “It’s extremely sad that such preventable circumstances in the form of negligence caused such a loss for the family.

“Whilst no amount of money can compensate for the loss, we managed to secure damages for the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate which is a small form of justice for the family.”

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