Case study: diagnostic overshadowing leads to delayed diagnosis of a serious genetic lung condition

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Our specialist Medical Negligence team supported a client in claiming compensation for a delayed diagnosis of a serious lung condition, leading to years of untreated symptoms and a series of strokes.

Hospital admission for poor mental health

Our client had co-existing mental health difficulties. During a hospital admission for a period of poor mental health, their oxygen saturations were repeatedly found to be abnormally low.

No action was taken by the clinicians, a clear case of diagnostic overshadowing.

What is diagnostic overshadowing?

Diagnostic overshadowing is when a health care professional makes an assumption about a patient’s behaviour or symptoms based on their learning disability or psychiatric condition, without exploring another diagnosis.

Delayed diagnosis

Our client experienced a delayed diagnosis of pulmonary arteriovenous malformation (PAVM), which meant that they suffered years of untreated chronic hypoxia (low levels of oxygen). This significantly impacted their family life and ability to work.

This sadly led to a series of strokes. Following this, our client’s PAVM was diagnosed and surgically corrected.

Fortunately, our client recovered well once their PAVM was corrected and was finally able to succeed in their professional ambitions.

Proceeding with the medical negligence claim

Our client instructed us to act on their behalf in their delayed diagnosis claim. After gathering details about their case, we instructed independent experts to analyse the care provided to our client.

We received an admission of liability and an apology for the poor care received from the hospital, including the missed abnormal readings.

Settlement of the claim

Following negotiations, our client also received a substantial settlement of damages to compensate them for the stroke, the pain and suffering experienced, and the loss of earnings during the period of undiagnosed chronic hypoxia.

Further information

If you or a loved one have suffered due to a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Although compensation cannot undo any negligence, it can help you deal with the long-term impact, including paying for treatment and specialist equipment.

For an initial chat with a member of our Medical Negligence team, call us on 0117 325 2929 or fill out our online enquiry form.


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