Medical Negligence

Widow awarded £200,000 settlement after arguing correct medical advice could have saved her husband’s life

November 3, 2022
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Written by Alison Flaherty, Partner & Head of Clinical Negligence

A 61-year-old widow will receive £200,000 after arguing her husband’s death was because the East of England Ambulance Service gave the wrong advice to treat an open wound.

At 1:36 am on 15th June 2014, Mr D’s wife called the emergency services.

The call was a result of her husband picking a scab on his leg which resulted in a lot of bleeding from the wound.

The call allocation was a GREEN 2 priority with advice to put pressure on the wound.

At the time, Mr D was breathing heavily but the call priority did change to RED 2 with the dispatch of an ambulance.

Mr D’s condition then deteriorated.

His breathing worsened as the bleeding continued so Mrs D called the emergency services again at 1.42am.

At this point, Mr D was unconscious and advice was given to lie him flat on the floor.

Most significantly, Mrs D was unable to move Mr D from his chair and it was at that point his breathing stopped.

It was at this point that Mr and Mrs D’s son came.

He moved his father to the floor at approximately 1.52 am where he began resuscitation.

The ambulance arrived five minutes later.

At this point the ambulance crew identified blood loss of approximately 3-3.5 litres.

The ambulance departed at 3.17am and attended Peterborough City Hospital.

Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated further, and confirmation of the death came at 4.32am.

It took a long time for the ambulance to arrive despite Mrs D calling immediately.

Furthermore, the case documents argue the overall actions the call handler took.

Speaking in reflection of the settlement, Fletchers Solicitors Medical Negligence Solicitor, Georgina Tither is happy with the outcome.

She said:

Given the partial admissions of liability by the Defendant we are really happy with an early settlement for Mrs D surrounding the tragic circumstances of Mr D’s death.

Georgina’s case argues all calls must receive the correct grade so victims can receive the necessary treatment.

Mrs D’s claim covers:

  • Bereavement damages
  • Funeral costs
  • Dependency
  • Loss of companion and parent.

In conclusion, an inquest determines that“death might have been avoided by the additional simple practical procedure of raising his leg.”

In addition, a Section 28 report by the Coroner links the death on the failure to advise elevation of the leg.


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