Pulmonary Embolism & DVT Negligence Claims
Stephanie Prior Partner
The ability of blood to clot is vital: when we are injured, a clot plugs the damage, stopping the bleeding and providing a mechanical defence against infection. The clot is protective. However, when clots occur where they are not necessary, they can cause harm. A blood clot in the lungs is called a Pulmonary Embolism.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot (thrombosis) that forms within a deep vein. DVT most commonly develops in the deep veins of the leg or calf but can occur within any deep vein including those within the pelvis or abdomen. DVT commonly occurs in the legs but can occur in any area of the body.
Typical symptoms of a leg DVT include pain and swelling in the leg and red, warm skin over the affected area. However, some DVTs do not cause any symptoms at all. The danger of DVTs is that there is a risk that a piece of the clot breaks off and enters the free-flowing blood stream, which takes blood to your lungs.
If a clot blocks off one of the blood vessels in your lungs, you could become seriously ill, with shortness of breath and chest pain. You may feel lightheaded and could cough up blood. If your symptoms are severe the clot can be quickly fatal. A clot formed this way in the lungs is called a pulmonary embolism (PE). Around 1 in every 10 people who have an untreated DVT will develop a PE. For this reason, DVTs and PEs require urgent medical attention.
There are several different tests that can help diagnose a DVT. A D-dimer blood test picks up the presence of a blood clot in your bloodstream. However, the D-dimer count can also be raised because of other things such as recent injury or pregnancy, so it is only useful as an indicator that something may be wrong. A Doppler ultrasound scan of your leg can detect blood flow in your leg’s deep veins, and if there is a clot present, the flow will be slowed or even stopped completely. Finally, there is a venogram, during which a dye is injected into your leg blood vessels and an X-ray is taken. A blocked vessel should show up clearly on the film.
Diagnosing a Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
In addition to the DVT tests, there are a couple of special tests that are used to see if there is a lung clot. Like the venogram for your leg, pulmonary angiography is when dye is used to show up the blood flow in your lungs, and it is visualised using a CT scan, instead of an X-ray. Then there is a specialised scan known as a ventilation-perfusion or V/Q scan which examines both the blood and airflow in your lungs.
Treatment of DVT and Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
The main treatment for any type of clot is anticoagulant medication. These are drugs that stop blood clotting quickly. If you are unable to take anticoagulant medication for any reason, it is possible to have a filter placed inside the largest vein ( the vena cava) which will trap any clots that may arise, preventing them from going to your lungs.
DVT and COVID-19
New research into the COVID pandemic shows that a high number of patients who are seriously affected by the virus develop DVT.
In addition, around 1 in 4 people who become seriously ill with the coronavirus develop a PE.
What happens if a DVT is misdiagnosed?
At best you become susceptible to damage of the surrounding tissues and at worst you are vulnerable to the development of a life-threatening PE, which happens in around 50% of people with DVT.
DVT and Pulmonary Embolism Negligence Claims
To make a successful claim for medical negligence, it must be shown that a duty of care was owed to the patient and that duty of care was breached, causing harm.
If you think that you have been the victim of a DVT or PE misdiagnosis and that you have a case to claim for compensation, please get in touch with our specialist team.
Our promise to you
- We will review your DVT negligence claim by advising you on the NHS complaints procedure or other alternative procedures if your case does not relate to NHS care and treatment.
- We provide a free initial consultation and case review
- We can assist you with any issues that you may have regarding the complaints procedure or that you encounter in obtaining copies of your medical records.
- We will advise you of the course of action with respect to your case.
For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811
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The clinical negligence team are knowledgeable and professional in their approach and demonstrate a high level of skill in litigation work.
Osbornes Law offers experience in obstetric and fatal claims as well as niche cauda equina cases.
Osbornes Law is an established firm which handles a breadth of complex and high-value clinical negligence matters.
Osbornes has a skilled team of solicitors advising clients on a wide range of clinical negligence matters.
Hard working, approachable, good knowledge of clinical negligence and clients’ specific conditions
A joy to work with and always 100% client focused at all times.
The clinical negligence team at Osbornes is much lauded for its ability to ‘represent the diverse range of London-based clients
“The team is very quick and efficient in responding."
"Obsbornes Law is always client-focused and works tirelessly to obtain the best outcomes for clients."
‘They are ambitious for their clients and expect high standards from all who work with them.’
"Osbornes somehow combine the accessibility of a local firm, with the professional standards of a national or city outfit."
"Osbornes, is described as having ‘superb judgement and a medical knowledge that is second to none."
Stephanie has developed a particularly strong reputation for her handling of birth injury claims, as well as cases concerning surgical negligence and delays in surgery.
"An excellent firm which achieves fantastic outcomes for clients."
"Stephanie Prior takes on complex cases and gets excellent results. She has a background in medicine which serves her clients well and is a realistic but tough litigator."
"Stephanie Prior is hugely dedicated, adored by her clients, tenacious, efficient and extremely knowledgeable."
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Osbornes provides a very intimate and personal client service which is increasingly rare in this sector.
The lawyers in the team are highly experienced and will drive cases very hard on behalf of their clients.
"Stephanie Prior has a realistic attitude to the complexities of the cases. She wins the trust of her clients and goes the extra mile to ensure they get the best outcomes."
"Stephanie Prior... manages a varied caseload, including obstetric claims, child and adult brain injury cases and fatal and non-fatal spinal cord injury cases."
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Stephanie Prior is always very professional and kind. Highly recommended.
Quite simply excellent, with a highly competent and well-rounded team. They understand complex medical litigation and have been our lifesavers, and we will always owe them our immense gratitude.
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The Medical Negligence Team View the whole team
Rob Aylott Partner
Personal Injury Solicitors
Jodi Newton Partner
Ben Posford Partner
Personal Injury Solicitors
Stephanie Prior Partner
Tahsin Choudhury Paralegal
Sophie Cole-Ducker Paralegal