Our clinical negligence team has recently settled a claim for the husband and children of a 59-year-old woman, who sadly passed away due to an internal haemorrhage in 2015. Her death resulted from failings in her medical treatment while at Ealing Hospital, under the care of the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust.
Our client’s late wife had a complex medical history and had been experiencing chest pains early in 2015. She was referred for an angiogram, which is a type of x-ray that uses dye to show the blood vessels around the heart. There were several attempts to gain access to the correct artery, but eventually the procedure went ahead, and she was discharged home. The next day, she returned to hospital with abdominal pain, dizziness, and sickness. She was moved to Ealing Hospital where her condition deteriorated and a number of tests were undertaken, including a CT scan. The scan revealed that she had suffered from an internal bleed near her heart due to a puncture that took place following the angiogram procedure.
Once the diagnosis was reached, she was transferred to a different hospital, unconscious and in a very serious condition, with low blood pressure and poor breathing. An emergency operation took place to repair the puncture. She was moved to the intensive care unit after the operation, but sadly passed away a few days later.
Our client was concerned about the care his wife had received and her family approached us to investigate a claim on their behalf. Our expert evidence indicated that there were a number of errors made at Ealing Hospital, including failure to consider that her symptoms could be caused by an internal bleed despite her vital signs indicating this, failure to provide a timely blood transfusion, failure to seek urgent support from a consultant, delay in arranging a CT scan, and delay in transferring her to the second hospital. If it were not for these failings, our evidence indicated that our client’s late wife would not have been so critically ill by the time she was transferred, and her death would have been prevented.
The defendant admitted that there was a failure to diagnose our client’s wife’s internal haemorrhage in a timely fashion and a delay in undertaking the CT scan. They also admitted that, if it were not for these failings, she would not have been so unwell by the time of transfer and would have likely survived.
The defendant apologised for the failings that led to this sad loss and, after some further investigations and negotiations, a settlement was reached. Although no sum of money can ever make up for the tragic loss of their wife and mother, we hope that reaching a conclusion to the claim has brought the family some sense of comfort.
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