Six-figure settlement for widow of medical negligence heart victim

Harper Macleod has successfully settled a six-figure medical negligence case for the widow of a man who passed away after his heart condition failed to be diagnosed correctly, despite clear indicators being present on scans.

Heart Attack Medical Negligence Compensation Insurance Law

Harper Macleod represented the widow whose husband (Mr S) began to experience severe chest pain one evening. She called an ambulance and paramedics attended and carried out an ECG.

The ECG showed clear signs of severe myocardial ischaemia which meant that there was a lack of blood and oxygen reaching the heart.

As a result, Mr S was admitted to a Glasgow hospital and was assessed by the Accident & Emergency Department. The ECG from the paramedics was available but was not considered. No further ECG was carried out and he was ultimately, diagnosed with musculoskeletal pain and discharged with ibuprofen.

Mr S’s condition continued to deteriorate and his local GP attended with him who also diagnosed musculoskeletal pain after reading the discharge from the hospital.

Mr S returned to the same hospital 10 days later after experiencing acute breathlessness. A series of ECGs were carried out and he was admitted. Mr S Was becoming more and more unwell due to his heart failing which ultimately caused a large heart attack. As a result of the attack there was significant damage to the heart muscle and valves. Despite measures taken to deal with the damage to Mr S’s heart, Mr S suffered cardiorespiratory arrest and died two days later.

Harper Macleod was able to prove, on behalf of Mr S’s widow, that there was a direct link between Mr S’s management on his first attendance at the hospital and his death 14 days later.

The failure to suspect the cardiac problem resulted in a missed opportunity to treat the condition early and prevent progression to a larger heart attack, the consequences of which resulted in death. Had the paramedic ECG been considered, this would have led to hospital admission and commencement of medication to reduce the risk of progression.

We obtained expert opinion to confirm that on the balance of probabilities, early treatment would have improved Mr S’s condition. It would have reduced his risk of a larger heart attack and prevented his eventual death.

The evidence was accepted by the defending NHS Trust and settlement was agreed by way of a six-figure sum.

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