Archive for April 2011

40,000 Pounds Compensation for Fatal Emergency Misdiagnosis

The family of a Northumberland woman, who died after being misdiagnosed by an ambulance paramedic, has been awarded 40,000 pounds in medical negligence compensation.

Denise Hopper (40) from Alnmouth, Northumberland, was taken to hospital after being involved in a car crash in December 2007, in which she broke several vertebrae and suffered fractured ribs. The paramedic who treated her at the scene also diagnosed that she was suffering from dehydration, when in fact she had deep vein thrombosis. Denise consequently received the wrong treatment on her arrival at the hospital, and two weeks later suffered a heart attack and died.

Following an enquiry into her death, Denise’s two children sought legal advice and filed an action against the North East Ambulance Service for failing to demonstrate adequate clinical skills. The North East Ambulance Service admitted there had been a failure to make an accurate diagnosis, but did not admit liability for Denise’s death. Nonetheless, a compensation payment of 40,000 pounds for Denise’s children was agreed between legal representatives of the two sides.

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Nursing Home Neglect Claim Settled for Undisclosed Amount

The family of a woman who died after sustaining horrific bed sores in Sheffield nursing home are to receive an undisclosed amount of compensation from the home for clinical neglect.

Doreen Betts (78) from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, died in May 2009 due to blood poisoning, after sores on her feet were left untreated for three months. The pathologist, who carried out the post-mortem on Mrs Betts, claimed at the inquest into her death that the sores were the worst grade they could have been, and penetrated so deeply that they reached the bone.

The family of Mrs Betts had claimed in their actions against Kersal Mount Nursing Home (now known as The Laurels and The Limes) that staff had been advised by Mrs Betts’ GP to seek expert advice on the sores, but none was ever arranged. It was only when Mrs Betts’ daughter had visited her mother that an ambulance was called and Mrs Betts taken to hospital.

Even though the condition of the sores improved under hospital care, Mrs Betts was also suffering from extreme dehydration and renal failure. The cause of death was determined as sepsis – an infection of the blood caused by pressure sores – and it was the opinion of the pathologist at the inquest that Mrs Betts would still be alive today had staff acted on the advice of her GP.

An undisclosed out-of-court compensation settlement was agreed between legal representatives of Mrs Betts’ family and the nursing home.

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Multi-Million Celebral Palsy Compensation Due To 15 Minute Delay

An eight year old boy, who sustained terrible brain damage due to being starved of oxygen at his birth, has been awarded a multi-million pound compensation package by the High Court in London.

Callum Davies, of Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, was born at the Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny in November 2002. A fifteen minute delay in his delivery starved his brain of oxygen, and resulted in Callum sustaining dyskinetic cerebral palsy and brain damage.

Claiming medical negligence against the Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust through his father Paul, Callum will now need extensive care for the remainder of his life – care which has been provided for him to date by his parents.

The health board which succeeded Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust in 2009 – the Anuerin Bevan Health Board – admitted liability for Callum’s birth injury and issued an apology in front of Mrs Justice Nicola Davies at the High Court.

Announcing details of the compensation package, Judge Davies approved an immediate payment of 2.275 million pounds in order to adapt the family home and provide an education programme for Callum. Further annual payments will be made by the NHS Trust to cover the cost of his care.

Addressing Callum’s parents in court, the judge added “It is clear that the care which you and your wife have given is of the highest order. I know that Callum’s injuries have impacted on you and your whole family as a unit and that is something which at times is very, very difficult for families. I am well aware that the settlement approved by the court is not the complete answer, but what I do hope for the family is that these monies will make life easier”.

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