Medical Mistake Claims - Simpson Millar LLP

Misdiagnosed DVT caused Mother's Death

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 22/10/2013

A coroner's inquest has heard how deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in a 48-year-old mother led to her death.

Jacqueline Allwood went to an out-of-hours care centre with the help of her daughter, suffering from a pain in her leg. The receptionist told her that she could either go home or wait 2 hours to be seen by a doctor. The doctor saw her for a "matter of seconds", and ruled out any chances of her suffering from DVT, suspecting that she had sprained it instead. This was despite Ms Allwood and her daughter informing the doctor of her family medical history. Both her own mother and her sister suffered from the condition, which causes blood clots.

He prescribed that she should wear comfortable shoes, rest, and apply ice to the area giving her a recovery period of 7 to 10 days. Unfortunately, 10 days after visiting the doctors, Jacqueline died after a blood clot travelled from her leg to her lung.

Symptoms of DVT

Ms Allwood had suffered from some classic symptoms of DVT that had been missed by her doctor. Symptoms include:

  • Pain and swelling - usually in the calf
  • Heavy aching in the affected area
  • Warm skin around the area of the clot

If missed or misdiagnosed these symptoms can be fatal. The result of being misdiagnosed could result in part of the clot breaking away, and travelling to other parts of the body like the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism (PE).

At the inquest the doctor admitted he was at fault and should have gave a more thorough examination and asked about the patient's family history. The coroner ruled that he had been medically negligent. Usually, patients are asked about their family history on a form they fill in when visiting an out-of-hours medical centre. In this instance, the form asked no such question and the doctor did not ask either – despite it being mentioned by the patient and her daughter.

What if I was Misdiagnosed with DVT?

There are a number of ways that you can prevent DVT if you think you are at risk. However, if you have been misdiagnosed and/or suffered from a pulmonary embolism because of your doctor's medical negligence you may have a claim for compensation.

At Simpson Millar LLP, we recognise the devastating effects of a misdiagnosis or delay in treatment for you and your family members. Not only can a claim for compensation improve your quality of life, it can give you the support and assistance you need.

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