Delay in Referring Patient With Aneurysms For Specialist Treatment: £60K Compensation

Summary

Clinical Negligence claim following a failure to refer the Claimant to a neurovascular Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) team upon incidental findings of asymptomatic aneurysms and, in failing to do so, delayed or prevented the correct management/treatment thereof.

Defendants:

  • University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Settlement

£60,000

What Happened

On 31.12.2017 the Claimant attended A&E at Derby Royal Hospital with `…headaches abnormal behaviour facial droop slurred speech’. She underwent a CT scan which was reported as showing `… focal hypodensity noted in the right ternporoparietal region with possible hyperdense artery sign along the right para seller region. There is mass effect and oedema with compression of right lateral ventricle.  Appearances are more in favour of an infarction but underlying mass lesion may still need to be excluded.’

 On 02.01.2018 the Claimant underwent an MRI scan, with the result of the MRI scan available the same evening.   She remained in the Hospital under the care of the stroke physicians and made a gradual recovery.

On 22.07.2018 the Claimant collapsed at home and suffered a seizure.  The Claimant was taken by ambulance to Hospital. On arrival the Claimant was sedated and intubated and underwent an urgent CT brain scan. This noted `…likely large right middle cerebral territory region subarachnoid haemorrhage as primary event, with extensive changes as above and early hydrocephalus…’

 The Claimant was transported to the Queens Medical Centre where she underwent a coiling procedure.

On 27.07.2018 the Claimant’s external ventricular drain was removed. The following day it was noted that she was suffering headaches and, on 29.07.2018, a cerebro-spinal fluid leakage was noted.  A CT brain scan suggested hydrocephalus and consequently the Claimant underwent a lumbar puncture and a lumbar drain was inserted to control the hydrocephalus.

On 01.08.2018 the Claimant was assessed by a speech and language therapist who noted that she was conversive and able to talk appropriately in conversation and maintain a topic. Memory difficulties and intermittent confusion were noted.

The Claimant sought to bring a claim on the basis that she suffered a sub arachnoid haemorrhage on 22.07.2018 which could have been avoided but for the negligence. Subsequently she required a ventricular drain which carries a lifetime risk of epilepsy. She also required a spinal drain, reinsertion and a prolonged hospital stay.  Consequent of the incident the Claimant has continued to suffer from cognitive limitations (memory, visual non-verbal reasoning, executive function), irritability and increased fatigue.

The Defendant admitted breach of duty in that a referral to the neurovascular MDT should have been made in response to the incidental findings of asymptomatic aneurysms shown on the scan dated 02.01.2018.

In relation to causation the Defendant accepted that, had the appropriate referral been made, it would have been discussed within 4 weeks of the referral for MDT and at that stage the asymptomatic cerebral aneurysms would have been recognised. The Claimant would then have been advised of, and provided, treatment options (to include surgical treatment).

The Defendant sought to deny that, even if the Claimant had opted for active treatment by way of coiling, that this would not have occurred until some-time after 22.07.2018, meaning that, in the Defendant’s view, the incident would have happened in any event.

With limited admissions, cautious medical evidence and the Claimant being considered a Protected Party for litigation purposes, Devonshires Claims sought to engage Counsel (Outer Temple Chambers) to advise on capacity and quantum. Thereafter we entered into settlement negotiations with the Defendant and after a relatively short period the Defendant accepted the Claimant’s CPR36 offer in the sum of £60,000.

As the Claimant was a Protected Party the agreed sum of damages required approval by the Court under Part 8 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

The Hearing took place at County Court of Derby (via video link) on 14.06.2022. During the Hearing the Court was asked to consider;

  1. Approval of the damages at £60,000.
  2. Approval of a deduction from damages to cover the Claimant’s contribution to the Legal Expenses Insurance Policy.
  3. Acceptance that, whilst the Claimant did not have capacity to litigate, she did have sufficient capacity to manage money. Evidence to demonstrate this was provided to the Court.
  4. In accepting that the Claimant could manage money, agreement that the damages (if agreed) could be released immediately to the Claimant as opposed to setting up a Trust and/or appointing the Court of Protection.
  5. Agreement for a sum of £50,000 to be paid by the Defendant to Devonshires Claims by way of an interim costs payment.

The above points 1-5 were agreed and approved and the claim has been concluded much to the delight of the patient and her litigation friend.

Claim compensation for delays in treating a brain aneurysm

Devonshires Claims’ medical negligence and compensation claims experts will carefully assess your case and will tenaciously fight to obtain the maximum compensation for the injuries you have sustained due to the misdiagnosis of your stroke, the failure to monitor your condition or the failure to refer a patient for specialist neurovascular treatment in time if an aneurysm is suspected or diagnosed.  Our team are compassionate and driven, and we will put you in touch with other support services such as counsellors and clinical case managers who can help you recover.

For more information on Devonshires Claims ‘No Win No Fee’ stroke misdiagnosis claims service, contact us today on 0333 900 8787, email admin@devonshiresclaims.co.uk or complete our online form.

Get in touch

Devonshires Claims
Ground Floor
30 Finsbury Circus
Finsbury, London
EC2M 7DT