Temporal Arteritis Compensation Claims

If you have developed temporal arteritis (TA) and it has been misdiagnosed or treated incorrectly, affecting your health as a result, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

The leading clinical negligence team at JMW is here to help you understand your options and, if it’s the right option for you, assist you in retrieving the compensation you deserve. We have many years of experience working alongside people in the same situation as you and our rate of success, expertise and approach to our work means our team is renowned throughout the UK.

If you or your family have been affected by temporal arteritis and it has not been dealt with properly by your doctor, contact us on 0800 054 6512 or fill in our online enquiry form for a free, no-obligation conversation.

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Temporal Arteritis Explained

Temporal Arteritis (also known as Giant Cell Arteritis) is a relatively uncommon condition where the medium-sized blood vessels around the head and scalp become inflamed. The temporal arteries, found on either side of the forehead, are particularly affected and often become very prominent.

The cause of the condition is not known, but it is thought to be an autoimmune reaction where the body attacks its own blood vessels.

In order to confirm a diagnosis of TA certain tests may be performed. These include a recording of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), which is the rate at which red blood cells sediment in an hour. This helps to test inflammation in the body. In addition, a biopsy of the swollen temporal arteries is often performed.

Sometimes TA is related to other rheumatological conditions, most commonly polymyalgia rheumatica, which is a condition affecting the shoulders and hip joints.

Who Is At Risk?

According to the NHS, approximately 1 in 4,500 people develop the condition every year.

Most people who get TA are over the age of 55 and it is most common in the over-75s.

In addition, it is three times more common in women than men and seven times more common in caucasians than those of other ethnic origins.

Symptoms of TA

TA causes the inflamed blood vessels to become narrowed, resulting in reduced blood flow and the symptoms typically associated with the condition.

These include:

  • A severe headache on one or both sides of the forehead
  • Pain in the sides of the face, made worse by chewing
  • Scalp tenderness, most apparent when brushing or combing the hair
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Generally feeling unwell

The inflammation can sometimes also affect the blood vessels in the eye’s optic nerve, resulting in varying degrees of loss of vision that, if not treated quickly, can become permanent.

TA is initially treated with high doses of steroids and most symptoms start to improve within a day. The dose of steroids is then gradually reduced to a maintenance dose that has to be continued for many years.

Why Choose JMW?

Led by nationally renowned solicitor Eddie Jones, our clinical negligence team offers the experience and expertise necessary to secure a positive result for you, in what can be a very complicated area of law.

Our team includes members of the Law Society's specialist panel for clinical negligence, as well as the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors' panel. Accreditations like these mean you can rest assured we have the skills required to help you claim the compensation you deserve.

JMW offers free initial advice on making claims for negligence. If you believe that you or any member of your family have a potential claim, let us assess your case without any initial cost or obligation. We are also able to deal with cases using a no win, no fee agreement in appropriate cases.

Case Study

  1. Failure to Diagnose Temporal Arteritis Leads to Vision Loss. Compensation: £30,000

    With JMW's help a woman has received £30,000 compensation after doctors failure to diagnose Temporal Arteritis led to him losing his vision.

    At the age of 79, Joan began to suffer from severe pounding headaches.  She saw her General Practitioner a month later.  She told her doctor about the headaches, that they were thumping in nature, they affected the top and sides of her head and they were associated with earache like symptoms.  The pain radiated down the neck.

    Her GP told Joan that her headaches were due to arthritis in her spine and prescribed Ibuprofen and Paracetamol or Co-codamol. Joan's headaches persisted and she became bedridden. 

    Condition repeatedly missed by GP

    A few days later her doctor visited Joan at home. She again described severe headaches particularly in the top of her head.  They remained thumping in nature and continued to affect the top and sides of her head.  Her scalp was extremely sensitive and tender to touch.  Combing her hair was painful.  The earache pain made eating and chewing painful and difficult. Her GP prescribed an anti-depressant Citalopram in addition to her Ibuprofen.

    Joan's headaches persisted and she developed earache and pain in her jaw when eating.  The medication gave her only temporary relief.

    Joan saw her doctor again 2 weeks later accompanied by her husband and again symptoms were related.  She had severe pounding headaches, they affected the top and side of her head, she had pain in her ears and jaw and eating remained painful and difficult.  The GP took blood samples and increased her Citalopram dosage.

    Joan’s headaches persisted and she continued to complain of pain and tenderness in her scalp, temples and ears.  She also became confused and her speech became slurred. Joan saw the doctor again and he noted that the blood test results showed that she was anaemic.  She was referred for a hospital appointment

    Joan’s headache got worse and became continuous, the tenderness extended over her skull, her earache pain was worse especially when she ate.  Her husband telephoned the hospital to hurry up the appointment.

    Eventual diagnosis but too late to prevent permanent damage

    A week later Joan woke up with impaired vision. She and her husband thought this was due to her anaemia and having lost faith in her GP decided to wait for the appointment at hospital.  Her vision deteriorated over the next few days.  When she had her hospital appointment she was examined thoroughly and admitted as an emergency.  She was diagnosed as having temporal arteritis and she was treated with steroids. The treatment came too late and Joan was left with impaired vision in one eye.


    Joan was represented by JMW’s expert solicitors and received £30,000 in compensation for her doctor’s negligence.

Talk to Us

To find out more information about making a claim for compensation, speak to our specialist solicitors today. Simply call 0800 054 6512 or fill in our online enquiry form, and we will call you back at a convenient time for you.

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