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Approximately one in every 1,000 people will suffer a DVT during their lifetime. Many of these will occur while they are being treated in hospital, as surgery and long periods of inactivity increase the risk of a DVT.
Patient-specific factors in DVT can include weight, immobility, pregnancy or suffering medical conditions such as cancer and heart disease that cause the blood to clot. Smoking doesn’t help either. The danger from internal blood clots is well known and doctors should do all that they can to prevent them accumulating and travelling within the body.
Not every patient experiences the same symptoms. These can include a painful and swollen leg, a heavy ache in the affected area and skin that is hot to the touch. If left undiagnosed or untreated, the clot can travel in the body and can lead to life-threatening pulmonary (lung) embolism or heart failure.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidelines on how to avoid DVT but these are not always followed. It is estimated that around 25,000 hospital patients die every year from a preventable blood clot. DVT often develops when it could easily be avoided, and some are simply not detected early enough or at all.
How do I make a claim about deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
This is specialist work. It is important that your chosen law firm has the legal expertise and the medical knowledge to understand and appreciate what evidence is required and to interpret that evidence when it is obtained.
Your lawyers must also have relationships with the appropriate medical and other experts who can assess your immediate health needs and suggest what treatments you may urgently require. Their input will be absolutely crucial to your recovery and the success of your claim.
Shoosmiths must be able to show that you received sub-standard treatment, initially in a failure to carry out a risk assessment for DVT and we must be able to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that you suffered harm as a direct consequence of that sub-standard treatment.
In the cases concerning a negligent failure to prescribe anti-coagulants (blood thinning medication) we have to prove that this lead to the DVT, which caused pain and otherwise unnecessary threats to your life.
Where a diagnosis of a DVT was delayed, either by your GP or admitting hospital staff, we would need to be able to prove that the delay lead to a potentially dangerous pulmonary embolism.
If you feel you may have a case, call us for a free initial consultation. We can give you the benefit of our experience in such cases as well as an objective assessment of the likely success of your claim.
If I have a case about deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Establishing whether you have a case for making a DVT compensation claim requires exactly the same effort and evidence as any other claim for clinical negligence. Our expert lawyers need to show that there was a breach of the duty owed to you by the responsible healthcare staff in failing to test for DVT, failure to diagnose the condition or misinterpreting and delaying a diagnosis or failing to follow established guidelines.
The onus will be on Shoosmiths to prove that 'on the balance of probability' (i.e. greater than 50% likelihood) it was those failures that were directly responsible for the injuries and actual physical harm you suffered.
There are time limits (usually three years) within which you can claim so whatever your circumstances you should contact us as soon as is practicable. We can then give you free initial advice about whether a claim is possible and establish what additional treatments you may require to help you deal with the future, whatever your prognosis.
The value of your compensation claim will depend on the nature and severity of your injury, whether you recover fully or if there is long term effect on your health, but be aware that these can be complex, lengthy and demanding cases. The first thing to do is to contact an expert law firm like Shoosmiths which specialises in this sort of work and can advise you if you have a case that is likely to succeed.
More about deep vein thrombosis (DVT) claims
Blood flow is normally helped by the action of the muscle squeezing the veins and boosting the flow rate. Arteries and veins clogged with fatty deposits due to smoking or poor diet increase the risk of DVT but other causes can include medical conditions that cause the blood to clot more easily.
Damage to the lining of the vein (caused by vasculitis or the use of certain drugs) can also increase the risk of DVT. It is estimated that the number of deaths resulting from a hospital-acquired DVT is more than the combined total of those who die from breast cancer and AIDS and 25 times the number who die from MRSA.
Death and injury from DVT is preventable and all patients admitted to hospital should be assessed for their risk of developing blood clots. Especially prior to a major operation, you should be checked and offered preventative treatment such as blood-thinning medication or compression stockings if required.
Simple tests can spot deep vein thrombosis symptoms. These include ultrasound scans and the D-dimer test, which detects broken down fragments of a blood clot. Negligence cases usually centre on the failure to diagnose DVT due to symptoms being misinterpreted or tests not being carried out.
Delays in diagnosis can also lead to serious illness and increased pain and suffering for the patient. If you have suffered as a result of late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of DVT, you may be entitled to compensation.
'Shoosmiths got me the rehab I needed and really helped with my family. They were fantastic throughout.'
Our experienced and expert deep vein thrombosis solicitors will fight hard to make sure we achieve the best possible outcome and get compensation to fund the support you need for the long-term.Why Shoosmiths