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In late March 2008, Jane collapsed at work and was unconscious for 10 minutes before she was taken to hospital by ambulance. When she regained consciousness, Jane was suffering from a very bad headache and found the light in the room very bright.

Jane underwent various investigations but despite being in significant pain, she was reassured by the medical team and discharged home with a potential diagnosis of stress.

The next morning, Jane was found unconscious again, breathing very erratically. The ambulance took her to hospital, where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.  She was told that she had suffered a serious brain haemorrhage and needed a scan as soon as possible.

After being told that there were no available beds in the unit, Jane was transferred to another hospital where she was put in an induced coma in an attempt to stabilise her condition. She was left paralysed on her right side and unfortunately later that same evening suffered a further devastating brain haemorrhage.

Surgery was planned to reduce the pressure in Jane’s brain but following a CT angiogram a view was taken that she would not survive the procedure.  A ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ protocol was agreed and Jane’s life-support was withdrawn the following day.

A missed opportunity

Jane presented with symptoms on her first admission which, if acted upon correctly, would have led to a diagnosis of a subarachnoid brain haemorrhage.  It was alleged that if the correct care and treatment had been given then an urgent CT scan would have confirmed a brain haemorrhage leading to the insertion of a ventricular drain, to reduce intracranial pressure, as well as surgery to clip the aneurysm.  It was alleged that this treatment would probably have prevented Jane’s further deterioration and subsequent death.

How we helped

After investigating the claim, together with supportive evidence from an A&E expert, we sent a Letter of Claim to the Defendant Trust.  We obtained an early admission of liability but it was disputed that Jane’s health wouldn’t have deteriorated and it was alleged that she would have died anyway even if she had been diagnosed earlier. We then obtained further supportive evidence from a consultant neurosurgeon and commenced proceedings against the Defendant Trust.  As a result we were able to negotiate a final settlement for Jane’s widow and dependants which helped provide financial stability for them all in the future.

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