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GBP 1.67m for woman who had a stroke when heart infection missed

Olive Lewin's client suffered a devastating stroke when a bacterial infection went undiagnosed despite multiple medical visits

Posted on 20 February 2015

A woman who attended nine medical appointments in two months has received compensation of £1.675 million when an infection was missed by medical staff which led to her suffering a debilitating stroke.

The 52 year old woman, known only as Mrs K, had a heart valve defect but was otherwise well, and had an active and busy social life.

In 2008 Mrs K developed dizzy spells, breathlessness, night sweats and felt generally unwell.  While she was on holiday in Africa she saw a doctor who thought that she might be suffering from malaria and gave her antimalarial medication.

When she returned to the UK her symptoms became worse.  She visited her GP who advised her that she was probably menopausal, and should think about taking HRT.

Mrs K continued to feel unwell and went to her local A&E department in June 2008 with a painful swollen right arm. She was given painkillers and told to return to her GP.

In the next six weeks Mrs K went to see her GP four times, and to the A&E department three times.

No investigations into the reason for her illness were carried out during these visits.

Eventually Mrs K became so ill that she was taken to A&E by ambulance and was admitted to hospital.

Mrs K was diagnosed as suffering with bacterial infective endocarditis, an infection of the inner tissue of the heart.

Three days after being admitted to hospital Mrs K suffered a stroke.

Six weeks after being admitted to hospital Mrs K underwent heart surgery, including an aortic valve replacement, and a mitral valve repair.

Despite the heart surgery being successful she has been left with weakness on her left side, a reduced range of movement in her left arm, and she has difficulty in climbing stairs.

The stroke has had a devastating effect on her life as she can no longer work and is dependent on carers.

Mrs K’s family instructed medical negligence partner Olive Lewin to bring a claims for damages.

After instructing the relevant medical experts Olive was able to settle the case, and the High Court and the High Court approved the settlement.

Leigh Day medical negligence partner Olive Lewin said:

“Mrs K suffered a stroke three days after being admitted to hospital because of the delay in treatment she experienced.

“The damages she has received mean that her immediate and future needs are secured, and she can now, as far as is possible, move forward with her life.”