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Cardiac treatment - Delay in ablation treatment

Cardiac treatment Delay in ablation treatment
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Victoria Blankstone and Alice Folliss of Shoosmiths Birmingham medical negligence team were instrcuted by Mrs W after she experienced significant and unacceptable delays in the treatment of her cardiac condition

Ms W was first added to the list for cardiac ablation at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust in May 2016. At the time she was suffering from palpitations, fatigue, and dizzy spells. She was extremely worried about her situation. Despite the NHS Constitution stating that cardiac patients should receive treatment within 18 weeks, Ms W did not undergo cardiac ablation until February 2017, some 9 months later.

Unfortunately for Ms W, the first cardiac ablation procedure was unsuccessful as the anti-arrythmia medication that she was taking interfered with the procedure. Ms W had received conflicting information from the consultant and the cardiac nurses about whether she should stop her anti-arrhythmia medication prior to the procedure, but she had been repeatedly reassured that she should continue taking them. 

Ms W was informed that due to the drug’s interference with the first ablation, the procedure would need to be repeated and this would take place within the next 3 months. Despite this, Ms W did not hear anything further from the hospital.  

Ms W continued to try to chase the hospital, but no appointment was forthcoming. Whilst waiting to be seen, Ms W suffered from a number of unpleasant and distressing symptoms. She felt fatigued all of the time, to the extent that she was unable to climb the stairs at home and was unable to drive home from work without pulling over halfway through the journey to rest.  She continued to experience palpitations which she found very frightening, and she was worried that her heart could stop and that she might die at any moment. 

After waiting for over a year to be seen for the repeat ablation procedure, Ms W felt that she had no option but to make a complaint to the PALS team at the hospital.  After continued attempts, Ms W finally underwent ablation in April 2018. This was approximately 14 months after her first failed procedure, during which time Ms W felt that her life had effectively been on hold. 

Ms W states “from the outset Victoria and Alice have been steadfast in their support, advice and compassion. I cannot thank them enough.  At times it was very frustrating with the Trust’s poor co-operation in response, but everyone continued to keep progressing for a positive outcome for me which I believe has been achieved.  It is difficult to put into words how much I appreciate all that you have done”.
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Disclaimer

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2022

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