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Misdiagnosis of blood clot on woman's spinal cord results in paralysis

Potter Rees Dolan settled the case of an elderly woman who had a blood clot on her spinal cord for over £2 million.

Margaret was an 80 year old widow who was extremely sociable, active and generally in great health.

In 2011, she began to suffer with severe pain between her shoulder blades. She attended A&E but she wasn’t asked the right questions and a Junior Doctor failed to appreciate that she was already taking warfarin, a blood thinning drug. She was diagnosed by the Junior Doctor with a muscle strain.

In fact, Margaret was seriously ill. A week later, she returned to A&E and again the hospital failed to diagnose her symptoms properly, and it wasn’t until she attended hospital for a third time, some days later, as an emergency patient that they realised what was wrong.

Sadly, by this time she had developed a blood clot next to her spinal cord causing permanent damage.

Because of the hospital’s delay in properly diagnosing Margaret’s condition, she suffered permanent paralysis and now requires a wheelchair and 24 hour care.

Had her symptoms been diagnosed properly and she had been given preventative drugs to counter-act the warfarin, she would have made a full recovery.

We sued the hospital for negligence, which admitted full liability, and settled out of court for £2.3million.

Helen Dolan acted for Margaret and commented:

We had to act quickly in this case due to Margaret’s age and how severely the hospital’s mistake had affected her life. She needed a newly adapted home and a team of carers around her day and night as soon as possible so she could live as normal a life as possible.

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