Making a pulmonary embolism claim
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In order to make a pulmonary embolism claim it is necessary to show that a medical mistake has been made AND that the patient’s condition has been made worse by that mistake. Both elements have to be present for the compensation claim to succeed.
The importance of ticking both these legal boxes was highlighted in a recent pulmonary embolism claim brought by the husband of a patient who had died. He said that the GP had been negligent for failing to consider the possibility of a pulmonary embolism when she attended the surgery complaining of chest pain and breathlessness; especially as she had a history of pulmonary embolism. He thought that the GP should have recognised the symptoms and referred her to hospital.
16 hours after visiting the GP his wife collapsed and died at home.
When the pulmonary embolism claim went to court the judge agreed with the patient’s husband. He concluded that she would, in all probability, not have died if she had been referred to hospital, as deaths from pulmonary embolism in hospital are quite unusual.
There was an appeal. The GP's lawyers claimed that no explanation had been given as to how the patient would have survived or offered any proof that death would not have occurred.
Accordingly the pulmonary embolism claim succeeded and compensation was awarded.