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Medical Negligence - Treatment

Hospital Fails To Provide Essential Medication

When Terry was admitted to hospital, his family advised doctors that he required daily medication for a duodenal ulcer. However, medical staff at the hospital repeatedly failed to listen and ignored the warnings displayed in his medical records. As a result Terry's condition gradually deteriorated, and he tragically died just two weeks later.

Despite being over 80 years old, Terry was an active man who led an independent life. He lived on his own, regularly met his friends for drinks in the local pub, and walked into town every other day to visit his wife who was being cared for in a nursing home. He had a passion for life.

Terry's life was, however, somewhat affected by ill health. He had a duodenal ulcer, for which he needed to take PPI medication daily to ensure he did not suffer internal bleeding. With the help of these tablets Terry's condition remained stable.

But at the beginning of February 2008 he took a turn for the worse. He started to experience loose stools, and after two or three weeks this developed into diarrhoea. Terry's daughter, Jenny, would visit him every day on her way home from work. On the afternoon of 18th August she realised his health had declined: he didn't look well, was confused, and admitted to suffering diarrhoea and chest pain.

Feeling concerned, Jenny drove her father to the nearest hospital where he was diagnosed with dehydration and admitted onto a ward. The doctor in charge attended Terry's bed, allowing Jenny the chance to relate her father's medical history and the list of medication he was taking. The doctor didn't take any notes, but Jenny believed he would ensure the necessary medication was administered.

But instead of getting better, Terry's health continued to deteriorate. By the 23rd February Jenny was noticed blood in his mouth after vomiting, while the nurse also said she had seen blood in his stool. Despite these worrying symptoms, no further action was taken until five days later when Jenny and her brother, Neil, arranged a meeting with the doctor. Again they went through their father's medical history, paying particular attention to his previous ulcer problems. Again, the doctor took no notes, and Terry became increasingly unwell.

By the 4th March he was in a critical condition. Neil visited his father that afternoon and asked a nurse for a prognosis. She said Terry probably wouldn't survive the night. Knowing the end was near, Neil called Jenny, and together they sat by their father's bedside until he passed away in the early hours of the morning.

The entire family were devastated by the news. Until two weeks previously Terry had been relatively fit. His wife of 62 years had been denied the chance to say her goodbyes, while the overall treatment at the hospital had been appalling. Doctors had failed to obtain Terry's medical records that showed he had a perforated duodenal ulcer and needed life-long medication. They had failed to heed the advice of his relatives, and failed to investigate the blood found in Terry's mouth and stools. If they had done any of these things, his death could have been prevented.

We helped the family make a claim against the hospital responsible for Terry's death, and they were awarded over £25,000.

(Details that might identify our client have been changed).

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"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

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