Case study: cardiac arrest after ‘low risk’ diagnosis
Our medical negligence lawyers recently acted on behalf of a 32 year-old woman who died from a cardiac arrest after being categorised as ‘low risk’ and discharged from hospital.
Admission to hospital with chest pain
Our client awoke with chest pain and, given her pregnancy and history of myocardial infarction, was taken by ambulance to hospital.
Despite suffering similar symptoms at a similar stage of her previous pregnancy, which resulted in a heart attack, only one ECG was carried out on this occasion. The ECG was abnormal and 12-hour troponin tests were omitted. She was categorised as ‘low risk’ and discharged.
Shortly after our client was discharged, she began vomiting and collapsed at home. CPR was attempted but was unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead. The cause of death was noted as a cardiac arrest, just one hour 20 minutes after her discharge.
Pursuing a medical negligence claim
Our medical negligence solicitors pursued a claim on behalf of her husband and son. We instructed Counsel to attend the pre-inquest review (PIR) and inquest. We also obtained reports from A&E, an Obstetrician and Cardiologist with a sub-specialty in pregnancy.
A conference was arranged with Counsel and the experts, and our lawyers drafted and sent a Letter of Claim to the Defendant. We also considered a claim for secondary victims. A Letter of Response was received disputing liability.
We obtained further opinions from a care expert and a Life Expectancy report, as well as witness statements. Our solicitors also drafted a schedule of loss. Further investigation into liability was conducted by way of conferences, extensive research and further reports including a report from a Financial Expert.
The Defendant then suggested mediation which was subsequently arranged. The parties agreed a compromise offer of £350,000 which was approved and apportioned at an approval hearing.