NHS Direct admits fault in patient misdiagnosis
Essex residents who in the past have used NHS Direct Trust may be interested to hear that the organisation has admitted fault after a misdiagnosis incident in December 2011 that ended with a woman dying of cardiac arrest. Her widower said that he hopes that as result of this case, the mistakes that were made that led to the lack of correct treatment for his wife would not be repeated and that others would not be victims of the same errors.
He said that the couple had hoped to move to Surrey where they daughter and two grandchildren live. He described his wife, who was aged 68, as a people person and spoke of how she had worked past her retirement age because of her enjoyment of other people’s company. He said that if the NHS Direct service had sent an ambulance in a timely manner, his wife would have been in hospital where, even if the cardiac arrest was not preventable, immediate treatment after the attack would have been available. His representative said that he was distraught not knowing if she might have survived.
The call-handler at NHS Direct had misdiagnosed his wife as having acid reflux and suggested that he buy some paracetamol and antacids. He returned home to find his wife unconscious and called an ambulance, but she was pronounced dead from a heart attack at New Cross Hospital. The 77-year-old widower had had taken up the services of a medical negligence solicitors in order to ascertain the facts behind his wife’s death.
A failure to diagnose a medical condition can result in severe consequences for a patient. A solicitor may be able to assist a victim of medical negligence in seeking compensation for the failure of a medical professional to provide the requisite standard of care.