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Clinical negligence proven against Hospital Trust following the death of an elderly patient

Jun 13th, 2019

Sarah Merrikin, Chartered Legal Executive

The Claimant was the Mother of the Deceased, X.

X had been diagnosed with autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, after a period of ill health. X was prescribed steroid medication and remained under the care of the Haematology team at the Hospital. Over a period of time, the medication was reduced. X became very poorly and was admitted to hospital. Unfortunately, despite emergency treatment and a blood transfusion, X sadly died.

The Claimant instructed Langleys to represent her at the Inquest which had been arranged by HM Coroner.

The Claimant also wished to investigate allegations of clinical negligence against the Hospital Trust in relation to the treatment X had received following the diagnosis of autoimmune haemolytic anaemia and up until the time of death.

Medical evidence was obtained from a Consultant Haematologist. She identified a breach of duty of care on several levels, particularly:

  1. The rapid rate of reduction of the steroid medication
  2. A failure to monitor X’s blood count during the reduction of the steroid medication
  3. A failure to immediately resuscitate X upon attendance at the Accident and Emergency department
  4. The rapid transfusion of blood over a short space of time.

The expert concluded that X would not have suffered a relapse and subsequently died had the steroids been tailed off more slowly with appropriate blood count monitoring.

The Claimant received a Letter of Apology from the Hospital Trust.

The Claimant received £12,500 in damages for pain and suffering sustained by X prior to death, and in relation to funeral expenses and associated costs.

Sadly, where the Deceased is an adult child of the Claimant, damages remain quite limited.

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Sarah Merrikin

Chartered Legal Executive

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