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.