Case Study: Missed Sub-Arachnoid Haemorrhage

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Case Study: Missed Sub-Arachnoid Haemorrhage

Colin, 43 years old, Preston

JMW helped a man secure £400,000 compensation following negligent medical care from a hospital which led to a substantial re-bleed, causing numerous complications.

Colin was taken to his local hospital when he began to experience a sudden severe pain in the head, immediately followed by vomiting. He was transferred straight away to a larger centre for a CT scan, as a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) was suspected. The scan confirmed the diagnosis.

Surgery scheduled for a few days later

Another transfer was arranged to the regional Neurosurgical Unit of and Colin arrived there in the early hours of the morning. That afternoon Colin underwent a CT angiogram that demonstrated a small anterior communicating artery aneurysm on the left side of the brain. At this stage, Colin was not demonstrating any neurological deficit and he was listed for a coiling procedure to secure the aneurysm in a few days time.

Coiling is an alternative to clipping in treating an aneurysm and avoids the need for a craniotomy. Small metal coils are inserted into the aneurysm from inside the blood vessel via a catheter inserted into the large artery in the groin. The blood then clots around the coils sealing off the aneurysm.

Cancelled surgery

The original surgery was cancelled and rescheduled for the following day, and then again cancelled until a week following Colin’s admission to hospital.


The day before the operation was scheduled Colin suffered a substantial re-bleed from the aneurysm and his condition deteriorated markedly. An emergency coiling procedure was undertaken the following morning, after which he was ventilated and admitted to ICU.

Lasting effects

Colin made a gradual recovery, but remained disorientated and confused for several weeks. He was discharged from hospital after six weeks and required a period of rehabilitation. Although his mobility was unimpaired Colin continued to suffer from headaches, poor memory, poor concentration, irritability and altered behaviour. He did manage to return to work but was unable to cope with the demands of the job and eventually had to give it up. After a period of unemployment he did get another job, but it was considerably less well paid than his previous employment.

The claim

JMW Solicitors claimed that the Hospital was negligent in not either clipping or coiling his aneurysm within 48 hours of diagnosis, as recommended by NHS guidelines. Had this been done he would have avoided the re-bleed and made a full recovery with no long-term effects.


After the exchange of expert reports the case was settled for £400,000.

Talk to Us

JMW is highly experienced in helping clients in cases such as this. To find out more about how we can assist you in your particular situation, enabling you to get the outcome you desire, give us a call on 0345 872 6666. Alternatively, complete our online enquiry form and a member of our team will get back to you.

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