DOCTORS FAILURE TO IDENTIFY BLOOD CLOTS COSTS THE NHS MILLIONS

The Daily Telegraph has recently reported that data published by the NHS Litigation Authority, revealed that the NHS have paid £112 million in compensation over the past five years after doctors failed to identify blood clots (Deep Vein Thrombosis). It has been reported that there is a failure on the part of staff to either screen for the condition or give appropriate medication.

According to the NHS, blood clots affect 1 in every 10,000 people. As well as age, risk factors include:

* Previous blood clots
* a family history of blood clots
* medical conditions such as cancer and heart failure
* inactivity (for example, after an operation)
* being overweight or obese

The NHS advises that in some cases of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) there may be no symptoms, but possible symptoms can include:

* pain, swelling and tenderness in one of your legs (usually your calf)
* a heavy ache in the affected area
* warm skin in the area of the clot
* redness of your skin, particularly at the back of your leg, below the knee

If DVT is not treated, a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that has come away from its original site and become lodged in one of your lungs) may occur. If you have a pulmonary embolism, you may experience more serious symptoms such as:

* breathlessness, which may come on gradually or suddenly
* chest pain, which may become worse when you breathe in
* sudden collapse

For more information see http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Deep-vein-thrombosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Both DVT and pulmonary embolisms are serious conditions that require urgent treatment. According to the NHS Litigation Authority, blood costs kill approximately 25000 people admitted to NHS wards in England every year.

The team at Gregory Abrams Davidson deal with many cases involving the failure to detect blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. If you or somebody you know has been affected by a failure to diagnose a blood clot, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our dedicated team on 0151 733 3353 or 020 8209 0166. Alternatively, you can email us at abennett@gadllp.co.uk