Our client, a 54 year old man from Crawley, developed a spontaneous DVT in November 2007. He attended on his GP on a couple of a occasions but was (non-negligently) not diagnosed.
He attended on his GP again on 02.06.09, complaining of a swollen and painful right calf. The GP correctly considered he may have a DVT and referred him to the Crawley Urgent Treatment Centre for a specific blood test (a d-dimer test) that same day.
The d-dimer test was performed and reported to be normal. The doctor incorrectly decided that this excluded a DVT and reassured our client. No proper examination of his calf was made by this doctor and the Wells scoring system (for suspected DVT) was not completed. No actual diagnosis was given and no further investigations were organised.
Our client was next seen by a doctor at the Crawley Healthcare Centre on 20.12.09 with ongoing swelling and pain in the right calf. The doctor incorrectly noted that an ultrasound scan had ruled out a DVT. No proper examination of his calf was made by this doctor. The Wells scoring system again was not completed. No actual diagnosis was given, and no further investigations were organised.
Our client began suffering with breathing difficulties in August 2010 and collapsed on 21.11.10. He was rushed to hospital and was diagnosed with a massive bilateral PE.
Our client underwent a pulmonary thromboendarterectomy at the Papworth Hospital, Cambridge in March 2012. He subsequently made a slow recovery, but suffered with psychological consequences.
Our expert evidence confirmed that, had the Wells scoring system been completed on 02.06.09 or 20.12.09, the result would have suggested a DVT was likely, and our client ought to have been referred for an ultrasound scan. Such scan would have confirmed the diagnosis of DVT, and our client would have then been started on anticoagulation to remove it. Our client would not have developed a recurrent DVT, would not have developed the PE, and would not have required the subsequent extensive surgery with associated consequences.
A claim was pursued against Crawley Urgent Treatment Centre and it was necessary to issue Court proceedings following denials of liability initially.
Following the service of Court proceedings, the Defendant made an offer of £20,000 to settle and, after some negotiation, the claim was settled for £45,000.
Alex Tengroth, who had conduct of the claim, commented:
“This was a complex case, involving treatment over a long period of time. In the end the claim was settled at full value as all of my client’s injuries flowed from the Defendant’s negligence.
I am very pleased that my client’s recovery has been good, with relatively little ongoing consequence from the major life saving operation he required.”