Waldrons solicitors recover compensation in case involving delayed diagnosis of vascular condition

Friday 31st July 2020

Adam Smith acted for a male client who experienced a sudden episode of numbness in his right arm on 10 February 2015.  He was admitted to the Accident and Emergency Department at Russells Hall Hospital.  The initial suggestion was that he may have suffered a stroke.  Although he was admitted for a few days, his symptoms were transient. No stroke was established and following investigations he was discharged to the care of a Consultant Vascular Surgeon. 

On 13 March 2015, the client was seen by the Vascular Surgeon and he suggested the problems experienced by the client were likely caused by his smoking. 

The client was then referred for an MRA which was carried out on 7 July 2015.  The MRA was reported as normal. 

We subsequently discovered that the original MRA from July 2015 identified Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and the Trust admitted that this was missed.   Thoracic outlet syndrome is a group of disorders that occur when blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet) are compressed. This can cause pain in your shoulders and neck and numbness in your fingers.

The client’s symptoms persisted and on 4 January 2016, he had a particularly severe attack with his arm being numb, cold and emanating excruciating pain.  He was admitted to the Accident and Emergency Department at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and following some further investigations, he was only then diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The client subsequently underwent surgery on 3 March 2016. 

The client instructed Waldrons solicitors to act for him in connection with a claim for damages for personal injury and consequential losses in relation to alleged negligent medical treatment received at Russells Hall Hospital on or around July 2015.

Adam Smith investigated the claim and obtained a report from a Consultant Vascular Surgeon which was supportive. He then sent a Letter of Claim to the Trust setting out our client’s case. We alleged that there was a negligent failure to diagnose Thoracic Outlet Syndrome on 7 July 2015 and as a result of the breach of duty set out above, there was a clear delay in diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome from 7 July 2015 to 12 January 2016, when a diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome was made following a duplex scan carried out at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

It was alleged that our client suffered with unnecessary symptoms in relation to the undiagnosed and untreated Thoracic Outlet Syndrome between July 2015 and March 2016.   These included significant right arm and hand symptoms including numbness, the feeling of coldness and severe pain with particularly severe attacks sometimes lasting hours.  During these attacks his arm would become stiff, blue, numb and cold to touch.  These symptoms were significantly resolved as a result of the surgery carried out in March 2016. 

The client’s symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome fortunately largely resolved, with only very occasional symptoms in his hand which resolved quickly.

In response to the Letter of Claim, the Trust admitted liability and made an offer to settle the claim. Adam Smith negotiated the settlement on behalf of the client, which led both parties to agree to a settlement of the claim in the sum of £7,500.

Happy with the result of his claim, our client wrote:

Adam Smith has been like a part of my family to me. He has looked after me 100% with my best interest coming first always. He has always gone above and beyond and should I need a solicitor again, I would be going to use Adam.”

If you have concerns about any medical treatment you have received, please contact one of the Medical Negligence Solicitors at Waldrons where we will provide an initial assessment of the claim free of charge.