Advising with empathy and experience

£150,000 award for coagulation problems.

The CNCI team have recently secured £150,000 in damages for a client who faces a lifetime prescription of the blood thinning medication, Warfarin.

Our client had long suffered with problems to her left knee. Her knee cap would pop out of place 3 times a week on average and she was in constant pain. After numerous operations she finally saw an improvement in her condition after an operation in 2004. Unfortunately in 2006 the problem started to return.

She was told she could undergo a surgery which involved removing ligaments from her hamstring and attaching them to her knee to strengthen the joint. This surgery was to take place at Manchester Royal Infirmary and was scheduled for the 12th March 2008. During her previous operations she was told to stop taking her birth control pill two weeks before the surgery. This was because certain contraceptive pills can interfere with anti coagulant medication needed immediately following the surgery.

Our client mentioned  this to the nurse on the day of her operation but she was reassured that the surgery could go ahead despite the fact she was still taking her birth control. After the surgery no leg drain was fitted like in previous surgeries, and no anti coagulant medication was given after her surgery. After she was discharged she noticed that her leg was much more swollen than usual.

She was examined by a nurse who raised the possibility of a Deep Vein Thrombosis, this was later confirmed after a visit to A&E. A month later our client was forced to attend A&E again  where it is thought that a second DVT had occurred on top of the original one.

As a result our client must take the anti-coagulant medication warfarin for the rest of her life to prevent further DVTs. To make matters worse the operation did not improve her knee pain and she now requires constant pain management medication. Unfortunately she can only take Paracetamol because her warfarin injections react badly to other pain killers.

She has been forced to take a voluntary demotion because her condition prevented her from carrying out her duties; this meant she took a £8,000 pay cut and she can no longer socialise with her friends as she once did because of her medication.

Rachel Griffiths, the solicitor who handled the claim had this to say “I’m absolutely thrilled I was able to help my client get the outcome she wanted. It’s often the case that minor mistakes made by medical professionals have lifelong consequences for the patients involved. I’m just glad that I have been able to help my client move on in her life.”