Widow secures clinical negligence compensation after blood clot death

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Posted 05/11/2010

A widow has secured a clinical negligence compensation payout after her husband died from a blood clot following a routine operation.

Chris Harper, 60, went to have a minor procedure at Trafford General Hospital, but woke up complaining of pain in his chest and side, the Manchester Evening News reports.

However, despite the fact that such patients usually have physiotherapy the same day, Mr Harper did not get any until three days after the operation.

He also never received surgical stockings to protect him against blood clots.

The patient died in March 2007, a week after his original surgery, from deep vein thrombosis.

Patricia Harper, also 60, took legal action against Trafford Healthcare Trust and Salford Royal Hospital for the failings in care and has now received a five-figure sum in clinical negligence compensation.

“To say his death came as a shock doesn’t even come close. It has devastated our family and to think he could be with us today if he’d been given the proper medical care makes it even more difficult to cope with,” she commented.

According to research from the charity Lifeblood cited by the BBC, approximately 32,000 UK hospital patients a year die after developing a blood clot.

Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, who heads the Ashtons Legal clinical negligence team, comments: “Here basic measures were not taken to prevent a known complication with tragic consequences. Hopefully this case history will form the basis for future training for medical and nursing staff to show the importance of preventative measures against blood clots. 

“It is an area that has been extensively researched and we know how to avoid a problem which, as in this case, can have tragic consequences.”


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