David experienced pain on both sides of his chest, down both arms to his wrists and on both sides of his neck and shoulders. He went to see his GP who advised he had likely strained his chest muscles. David was given painkillers and told that the pain should resolve in a few weeks.
When the pain did not subside, David went back to the GP, this time seeing a different doctor, who gave the same advice. A few weeks later, David complained of pain in his chest and decided to go A&E, but collapsed at home and suffered a severe cardiac arrest before he could get there.
He required surgery including the insertion of two stents and was placed into a medical induced coma. He then had a further cardiac arrest requiring surgery to insert two further stents the following day.
David has recovered well, but still suffers with fatigue, short-term memory issues, emotional dysregulation and problems with his balance.
David approached Fieldfisher because he was concerned that he had flagged his symptoms to the GP and the cardiac arrest could have been avoided with appropriate referral and care.
Independent evidence from our instructed GP advised that the treating GP did not take an adequate history of chest pain particularly given David's family history of coronary heart disease. Importantly, on David's first visit, the GP did not explore whether David's chest pain was brought on by exertion and relieved by rest. David had also mentioned that the cold weather could bring on the pain and this could have mandated an ECG and admission.
At the second visit to the GP, it was alleged David's symptoms were not adequately recorded. Given he had attended for the same reason once before, his symptoms were not explored in any detail, with no consideration that he may be suffering cardiac issues such as angina or acute coronary syndrome,
rather than musculoskeletal issues. David's case was difficult in that it involved multiple GPs that led to difficult arguments being raised.
The GPs' representatives did not admit liability and so the case was issued in the High Court. It was incredibly hard fought and, finally, following exchange of expert evidence and negotiations, David accepted a lump sum settlement that will fund recommended rehabilitation, including a fatigue management programme, physiotherapy and neurological evaluation and treatment.
Following settlement, David said: "Thank you again to Mark and Rebecca, in particular, for all your help and support over the past few years."
* name changed
Case study prepared by Punam Sood who assisted David to settlement.
For further information about GP negligence claims or medical negligence claims, please call Rebecca Drew on 0330 460 6806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. or call Mark Bowman on 0330 460 6794 or email email@example.com.
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