Out of court settlement reached in DVT case

04 February 2016

Claire McDaid recently negotiated a settlement for Ms Z who sustained serious injuries following varicose vein surgery.

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Ms Z was admitted to a hospital in Northern Ireland to have varicose vein surgery carried out on her right leg due to persistent pain and associated symptoms.  She was discharged later that day however she felt unwell and these symptoms worsened in the days that followed to the point that she had difficulty walking.  She returned to hospital where a DVT was diagnosed and treated and Warfarin therapy commenced. 

Ms Z attended for a review appointment later that year with a different Consultant and she was advised at that stage that the wrong vein had been ligated during surgery, leaving the incompetent vein in tact and Ms Z suffering ongoing problems including pain, discomfort and swelling as well as superficial clots. 

Ms Z continues to suffer the effects of the DVT.  She remains on anti-coagulation medication which she must take daily and also wears compression stockings each day to prevent further DVT and injury.  As a result of the injury caused to her leg, Ms Z was unable to continue in her job and had to seek a transfer within the organisation where she works.  She now works less hours in a desk-based role.  This has had an impact both on her earnings and her potential for promotion. 

We secured expert evidence from a Consultant Vascular Surgeon who concluded that the degree of the vascular injury sustained was incompatible with the level of care that would ordinarily be expected, and High Court proceedings were issued accordingly.

We also secured Quantum reports from a Consultant Obstetrician, a Haematologist and Psychiatrist so that the impact of the injury on AB could be fully evaluated.  An accountants’ report was also obtained to assess the extent of financial loss sustained by Ms Z by reason of the change in her employment.

Primary liability was admitted by the Trust but there was an issue with regards to causation and whether the fact that the incompetent femoral vein had re-canalised meant that the vein was not actually ligated in error.  This led to further medical evidence having to be obtained from a Radiologist with further input from the Vascular Surgeon who had been instructed at the outset.  The experts discussed the case in November 2015 and concluded that on the balance of probabilities that the superficial femoral vein was damaged during surgery and that this iatrogenic injury caused the DVT and the resultants problems suffered by Ms Z.  It was also agreed that there was a delay in diagnosing the error and the DVT.

 The case was listed for hearing in December 2015 however following a joint consultation between the legal representatives, damages were agreed to reflect the level of pain and injury suffered by Ms Z.

Worthingtons Solicitors have a team of Solicitors with extensive experience in handling medical negligence cases involving all aspects of medical care.  If you believe that a hospital or doctor may have been negligent in providing advice or medical treatment to you which has resulted in injury, we will gladly provide advice on all aspects of medical negligence claims in Northern Ireland.

Contact Claire McDaid at our Belfast office on (90434015) or Nikki McConnell at our Newtownards office on (91811538) for advice and guidance on this process.



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