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Fosters supports bereaved family to win settlement

Fosters’ Medical Negligence team have recently obtained a significant settlement for the bereaved parents of a 46-year-old man who died following a head injury.

Our clients’ son stumbled outside a pub, hitting his head as he fell, before passers-by called an ambulance. He was admitted to hospital at midnight where his Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) was recorded as 15/15 and his unresponsiveness was assumed to be due to intoxication.

At approximately 3:30am he was reviewed by a consultant who recorded a reduced GCS of 14/15. Under national clinical guidelines this should have triggered a CT scan, however no scan was arranged and the ‘working diagnosis’ continued to be alcohol intoxication.

At approximately 6:20am the patient’s blood results showed his blood alcohol content was below the drink driving limit, but no actions were taken by clinicians despite this new critical information, and at 7:30am he suffered a seizure following which a CT scan was arranged.

This scan showed a severe subdural haematoma and an urgent transfer was arranged to a specialist hospital, where the patient underwent decompressive craniotomy at approximately 12:15pm. Sadly he never regained consciousness and passed away 17 days later.

Fosters’ Litigation Executive Carl Rix, who acted for the claimants, commented: “This is an incredibly tragic case which serves as a timely reminder that simple but incorrect assumptions can have devastating consequences.

“Whilst sadly the family now know these assumptions contributed to their son’s death, we are pleased to have been able to settle this claim so swiftly and help bring some closure to our clients following this incredibly difficult chapter in their lives.”

Our experienced lawyers act in a wide variety of medical negligence claims, with our Head of Medical Negligence David Gabell being one of only three AvMA panel members in Norfolk.

If you believe you or someone close to you has experienced sub-standard or negligent treatment we would be happy to discuss your potential claim on a free of charge, no obligation basis. We can be contacted on 01603 620508, Freephone 0800 731 8539.

This article was produced on the 7th January 2021 by our Medical Negligence & Inquests team for information purposes only and should not be construed or relied upon as specific legal advice.