What is deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?
A deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in the deep vein, usually of the leg but sometimes in other parts of the body.
A DVT can occur without symptoms, but in many cases the affected body part will be swollen and painful; it may also be warm and red and engorged with blood. The greatest complication of a DVT is that the clot could dislodge and travel to the lungs, which is called a pulmonary embolism. This is a blockage of the pulmonary artery or one of its branches and symptoms may include chest pain, difficulty breathing, and in more severe cases sudden death.
What causes of DVT?
Blood normally flows quickly through the veins without clotting. The flow of blood is helped along by movement of the body, such as leg movement, as the action of the muscle squeezes the veins. A DVT can happen for no apparent reason but the following factors increase the risk of having a DVT:
- Immobility (caused by surgery, long journeys by plane or train, illness or injury)
- The contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- Some older people have increased risk of DVT
- Medical conditions that cause the blood to clot more easily
- Damage to the inside lining of the vein (caused by a previous instance of DVT, vasculitis or by use of certain drugs)
How is DVT diagnosed?
The symptoms of DVT on their own can make it difficult to diagnose the condition. Common symptoms such as a painful or swollen calf can be associated with other problems such as infections. However, there are tests that can help to diagnose DVT where it is suspected; these include an ultrasound scan of the area and the D-dimer test, which is a blood test to detect the broken down fragments of a blood clot. Other tests can also be carried out to help detect DVT.
Negligence cases usually centre on the failure to diagnose DVT. This is usually due to symptoms being misinterpreted or the testing process not being extensive enough to diagnose the correct problem. Delays in diagnosis can lead to serious illness and increased pain and suffering for the patient.
If you have suffered as a result of late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of deep vein thrombosis, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
What can I claim?
The value of your claim will depend on a number of factors including:
- The nature of the injury or illness
- Whether you recover fully from the injury or illness or if it has a long term effect on your health and wellbeing
- The amount of any losses you incur as a result of the injury
You can claim compensation for the following things if they are a result of your injury:
- Pain, suffering and loss of amenity
- Loss of earnings
- Medical and nursing care costs
- Special equipment needed to carry out daily activities and any costs involved in adapting your home
- Other expenses incurred as a result of your injury, for example, travel expenses incurred whilst receiving medical treatment
Contact us to speak to one of our specialist lawyers in total confidence and they will discuss the details of your claim.