MBLLF secure €1.75 million damages for injuries to coronary artery resulting in serious DVT
Our client (middle aged woman) underwent an electrophysiological (EP) study of her heart at a Dublin based Teaching Hospital in December 2013 due to a history of occasional palpitations.
Following the procedure our client felt unwell with abdominal discomfort nausea and dizziness and returned to the Hospital two days post the EP study but was advised all was she was discharged. Our client’s symptoms deteriorated and she collapsed while out walking in January 2014. She woke up with a broken tooth, split lip and blood running from her ear. She was admitted as an emergency to a Hospital where she underwent a CT scan of her brain which revealed a fracture to her mastoid and occipital bones with pneumocephalus. She was admitted for neurological observation and remained in the hospital for 4 days.
An MRI was carried out of her pelvis and our client was originally informed that this scan was normal. Our client sought a second expert opinion and was then advised that there was a large mass in the pelvis which required further investigation. She subsequently underwent a further MRI of her lower leg which revealed our client had a deep vein thrombosis in her left iliac vein and a large pelvic mass. She was admitted to hospital for anti-coagulation.
Our client was advised that the original source of the deep vein thrombosis was possibly damage caused to the left femoral venous circulation during the electrophysiological procedure in December 2013.
Our client has left with chronic ongoing problems with her left lower limb venous drainage and chronic neuropathic pain. She has had two common iliac vein stents inserted in the left limb and gets ongoing left lower limb swelling and pain. She has had to modify her activities including her work to accommodate her chronic symptoms. Our client was forced to change career path due to her symptoms.
Our case centred around the issue of informed consent. It was our clients case that she should have been offered alternative less invasive methods of investigating her symptoms of heart palpitations rather than proceeding to an invasive EP study. Our client was clear that she would not have opted to proceed with the more invasive and riskier EP study if she had been aware of the safer alternative procedure of inserting a an electronic linq device subcutaneously on her chest wall.
In terms of causation, had a less invasive device been implanted, as opposed to the invasive electrophysiological procedure study, on the balance of probabilities she would have avoided the venous injury, her deep vein thrombosis and all the resulting psychological sequelae.
Approximately 80% of the €1.75 million settlement reflected past loss of earnings, past medical expenses and future loss of earnings.