Case Study: Inadequate Monitoring of Warfarin

Compensation: £13,000

Eileen, 65 years old, Rochdale

JMW has helped a widower secure £13,000 compensation after doctors failure to monitor his wife's INR on a consistent basis led to her death.

When 47 years old, Eileen was found to be in atrial fibrillation and was commenced on an oral anticoagulant. Five years later she had a mitral valve replacement. After this her target INR was 3.5.

Just after her 65th birthday Eileen was admitted to a private hospital where she was treated with intravenous antibiotics and discharged. During the course of that admission her INR was checked on a regular basis.

Three months later Eileen was admitted again for investigation and treatment of heart failure. Her temperature was elevated and it was thought that she was septic, possibly arising from an area of cellulites over her left elbow. She was transferred to the High Dependency Unit and commenced on intravenous antibiotics.

The following day Eileen was prescribed Amiodarone. Her INR was checked and this was found to be 2.5. She continued to take her prescription of anticoagulant during the course of her admission.

Five days later Eileen developed severe abdominal pain. An INR reading of greater than 10 was obtained and Eileen began to develop hypertensive shock was developing with a high pulse and extremely low blood pressure.  A CT Scan suggested splenic rupture with subcapsular haematoma and therefore six units of fresh frozen plasma were given and Eileen was transferred to her local NHS Hospital.

A lab report for a further INR recorded 4.2. Further INR was recorded as 1.2. Unfortunately Mrs. Kay died at two hours later. A death certificate gave the cause of death as (a) Spleenic rupture, (b) Overanticoagulation and (c) Mitral valve replacement.

The claim for negligence

JMW Solicitors alleged that the hospital Defendant was negligent in failing to establish a proper regime for monitoring Eileen’s INR during the admission or note the risk that Eileen was at significant risk of over anticoagulation because she became septic.


The claim was settled and Eileen’s husband was offered £13,000 representing a bereavement award together with an element for pre-death pain and suffering and funeral expenses. This offer was accepted.

If you believe you have suffered in a similar way to Eileen, give us a call to discuss the situation and to see whether you could be entitled to compensation. Ring us today on 0800 054 6512, or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our friendly team will get in touch with you.

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