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Man suffered stroke after underdoing cardiac procedure

Negligence during surgery caused a man to suffer a stroke leaving him with physical injuries

Johnny* was 58 years old when he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. Atrial fibrillation can cause blood clots and stroke, and Johnny was started on anticoagulant medication to reduce the risk of this. However, unbeknownst to Johnny, the dose he was prescribed was too low. 

Johnny was advised to undergo cardiac ablation, a procedure which blocks the irregular electrical signals in the heart which cause atrial fibrillation.

He attended a pre-op appointment with a nurse practitioner who recorded the medication that Johnny was taking but failed to identify that he was on too low a dose of anticoagulant for this to be effective.

When Johnny was admitted for the cardiac ablation procedure, the doctor who performed it also failed to note that the anticoagulant dosage was wrong until after he had completed the procedure.

Sadly, Johnny suffered a stroke as a result of the cardiac ablation. He has been left with a significant and permanent sight problem and other long term difficulties.  He is no longer able to drive or work and has lost much of his independence.

The hospital admitted that it should have ensured that Johnny was taking the correct dose of anticoagulant before the cardiac ablation procedure was undertaken and that he would not have suffered a stroke had it not been for the hospital’s negligence.

A Joint Settlement Meeting took place in May 2022 where we were successful in reaching a compensation award of £780,000 for Johnny.

Helen Budge, Senior Solicitor in clinical negligence at Potter Rees Dolan who acted for Johnny said:

Johnny’s stroke would have been avoided had there been a simple check of the medical notes. The consequences for both him and his family have been devastating. I am pleased that we have been able to secure a settlement which will enable him to try to move on with his life and regain some of the independence that he has lost.

* The names and identifying details of the client have been changed to protect the privacy of  theindividuals involved.

Helen Budge is a Senior Solicitor within Potter Rees Dolan's Clinical Negligence department. If you have any questions relating to this case study or clinical negligence and wish to speak with Helen, please call our free phone on 0800 027 2557. Alternatively, you can contact Helen directly through her profile page on our website.

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