£39,000 for Failing to Treat Pericardial Effusion

Our client, a widow from New Romney in Kent, brought a claim arising out of the death of her elderly husband after he was discharged from the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford in February 2014 with a large pericardial effusion and died within hours at home.

The family had concerns about the decision to discharge when it was made. In fact, our client had discussed her husband’s symptoms with a doctor and stated they were similar to those she had suffered herself when she had suffered pericarditis. Unfortunately the family’s concerns did not change the decision.

Our client made a complaint to East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and after receiving unsatisfactory answers approached this firm.

We investigated the facts and established that the Defendant Trust had failed to properly report its own diagnostic imaging, which showed pericardial effusion, and to refer the Deceased for urgent cardiology review. Instead he was discharged with an incomplete clinical picture and sent home.

With an appropriate referral, a cardiologist would have recommended surgical drainage sufficient to avoid cardiac tamponade and death.

Regrettably NHS Resolution, acting on behalf of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, denied the claim and it became necessary to issue court proceedings to obtain appropriate compensation for our client.

Once court proceedings were issued, the solicitors appointed by the Defendant sensibly indicated that they would like to settle the claim.

There was a short negotiation and the Defendant agreed to pay £39,000 in satisfaction of our claim that the death of the Deceased had been brought forward by a period of 2 – 3 years.

Steve Evans, the solicitor with conduct of this matter, commented:-

“This is another case where a bereaved family has felt let down by their local hospital after losing a loved one. My client deserves huge credit for having the strength to bring a legal claim in the aftermath of tragedy and the determination to continue in the face of unrealistic denials by the Defendant in response to a properly made out case.

I am very pleased that my client now has the benefit of her compensation which will do a great deal of good for her and her family.”

If you or a member of your family has suffered as a result of negligence on the part of a health professional then please do not hesitate to phone us free on 0800 999 5585, request a call back or submit your case details.