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Major stroke caused by hospital’s negligence - £1 million
Peter is almost completely paralysed down his left side, is wheelchair dependant outdoors and has impaired mental function after he suffered a major stroke due to the negligence of hospital doctors. His case was taken on by Steven Brown, a medical negligence specialist at JMW, and Peter was awarded £1 million in compensation to help him to cope with the financial fall-out.
Peter had a history of high blood pressure and was a long-term smoker which meant he was at high risk of stroke. When he began suffering from numbness and pins and needles in his arms and a stiff neck which went on for a few weeks he went to see his GP. With no other significant symptoms the GP thought Peter could have a trapped nerve and prescribed Ibuprofen.
A few days later Paul’s wife Pauline noticed that he was stumbling to one side, he had difficulty moving his arms, his speech was slurred and he was drooling. Pauline recognised these signs of stroke as she had witnessed a friend having a stroke and also remembered TV advertisements about the signs and the need to act fast. Pauline called an ambulance which arrived quickly and took Peter to hospital.
Peter was seen by a doctor after about 30 mins and by this point his symptoms had subsided. However Pauline described them to the doctor who wrongly sent him home without thorough investigations and with advice to see his own GP for a referral for an MRI scan. The doctor told Peter he had a trapped nerve and he was given a neck exercise leaflet.
The next morning as Pauline was talking to Peter he developed a strange vacant look. His speech was slightly slurred, his left shoulder and arm were slightly drooping, he was dragging his left leg and he was drooling. Pauline again correctly recognised these signs of stroke and immediately called an ambulance.
The paramedics who had taken Peter to hospital the previous day arrived and this time they saw his symptoms. This time they lasted longer but within 30 minutes of his arrival at hospital they had subsided as they had before. Peter had suffered two ‘ministrokes’ known as transient ischaemic attacks which often come before a major stroke. However the doctor did not believe that Peter had signs of stroke and sent him home with pain relief.
However that night while he was in bed Peter suffered a major stroke. Pauline again called an ambulance and this time the hospital took his symptoms seriously. Peter was transferred to a specialist stroke unit, given a CT scan and clot busting medication. The next couple of days were touch and go as to whether Paul would survive. Thankfully he did but was left with a permanent brain injury. He was later transferred to a rehabilitation centre where he spent several months where he slowly relearned how to perform basic skills such as dressing and feeding himself and using the toilet.
However his house was no longer suitable for his physical disabilities. He could also no longer drive, was diagnosed with epilepsy and went on to develop depression because of the huge impact the stroke had on his life.
Pauline was extremely upset and frustrated that Peter had not received treatment the two times he had been taken to hospital after suffering a mini-stroke. The couple’s lives were devastated by the errors and Peter was left with specialist care needs that they could ill-afford.
Pauline was put in touch with JMW and Peter’s case was taken on by medical negligence specialist Steven Brown. Steven successfully argued that the hospital had been negligent by not treating Peter when he presented at the hospital twice with signs of stroke. Steven obtained a full admission and apology from the hospital Trust for Peter and Pauline and £1 million in compensation to cover the cost of the specialist care and accommodation he will require for the rest of his life.