A 75-year-old male has labelled NHS blood pressure machines as ‘dangerous’ and condemned their use after accepting a £15,000 medical negligence settlement.
The Claimant, who wishes to remain anonymous and will be referred to as Henry, has little to no dexterity in his left hand after it was argued the blood pressure machine was negligently fitted.
As a result, Henry has had to forfeit participating in his favourite past times which include fly-fishing and competitive golf.
Fletchers Solicitors Medical Negligence Serious Injury Solicitor, Trevor Ward represented Henry and said:
It was a particularly difficult case, strenuously defended by those representing the practice nurse at the Defendant GP Practice.
We tried to settle by P36, offer on liability, global offer and eventually a mediation.
The latter resulting in a significant concession on some issues which ultimately led to a compromise.
I am very pleased with the outcome achieved.
On 6th June 2014, Henry saw his GP for the fitting of a 24-hour BP monitoring system and was instructed to keep it in place for 24 hours and remove at 6pm the next day.
Later that evening, Henry started to feel uncomfortable and when he took readings at the recommended 30-minute interval stage, the device became tighter and more painful.
The next morning, Henry experienced pins and needles, but thought nothing pf it as he had patiently waited for the device to be fitted.
As instructed, Henry removed and returned the machine to his GP on 9th June and upon doing so, he felt instant relief.
On 11th June and buoyed by pain relief, Henry then started to encounter new obstacles.
Simple tasks such as tying shoe laces and fastening buttons became difficult, and to Henry, it seemed his fingers were not as responsive as usual.
On 12th June, Henry visited his GP where he was then immediately rushed to A&E with a suspected heart attack.
At hospital, Henry was diagnosed with compression paralysis of radial, median and ulnar nerves because the BP machine failed to follow ABPM, NICE Guidelines and Clinical Management of Hypertension guidelines, resulting in the cuff allegedly fitted too tight and causing injury.
By 14th June, Henry was in unbearable pain.
It was Henry’s case in brief that the Defendant failed to apply a blood pressure cuff correctly and failed to provide appropriate advice in relation to its application and usage.
As a result, he sustained a significant mixed median, ulna and radial nerve palsy as a consequence of excessive and/or sustained pressure from the cuff.
This resulted in extensive denervation of muscles in his left arm giving rise to weakness and muscle wasting.
Whilst there has been some spontaneous recovery of the nerve supply to the muscles in his upper arm, Henry has been left with little functional improvement to date and it is anticipated that any further improvement would be modest at best.
All aspects of Henry’s life are now affected by the resulting disability and he now struggles with bimanual tasks and domestic activities.
Henry has also had to lower his golfing level, a sport he has played for over thirty years and abandon fly fishing.
Despite this, Henry has commended the work carried out by Trevor and the overall legal representation he received.
I am happy with Trevor and his legal team, very happy – the degree of empathy and professionalism afforded to me was exceptional.
I was at all times appraised of the state of play, options for moving forward and insights into what was likely to occur, all of it was spot on.
I would recommend Trevor Ward of Fletchers to anyone who needs an expert in clinical negligence. The degree of empathy shown by all those involved in achieving the recognition that my injury was attributable to the BP cuff was very welcome.
I believe the result significant and important to many more people who may have suffered the same injury, albeit without realising.
That empathy was important in keeping my spirits up, when NHS GP staff were suggesting that I was “pretending’.
The monetary outcome was never my priority, but I am satisfied with it.
My main priority was to gain wider medical institutional acceptance that BP machines can do serious damage.