Case studies

Failure to diagnose sub-acute bacterial endocarditis


Not all claims relating to infections concern diseases contracted in hospital. In this case, we acted for a client with a known hole in his heart that did not need treatment, but for which he attended regular check-ups because of his increased susceptibility to cardiac infections.

He developed back pain that was treated as a slipped disc. Two months later he experienced chest pain. A deformity was noted in his spine and he was diagnosed with a congenital spinal disease affecting his vertebrae and referred for phyiostherapy. His condition deteriorated and numerous tests were done, including for cancer, a blood disorder, liver and kidney problems. The liver biopsy caused a significant internal haemorrhage, resulting in admission to intensive care and a blood transfusion.

Only then was the bacterial infection in his heart finally identified and treated, but not before he suffered significant permanent damage to his aortic valve.


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP