Belfast Woman Settles DVT Hospital Negligence Claim against Ulster Hospital for £400,000

A Belfast woman has settled her DVT hospital negligence claim for £400,000 after the Ulster Hospital admitted failing to consider the possibility of deep vein thrombosis during the birth of her first child.

The unnamed 41-year-old woman from Belfast developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after her first child was born in June 2009 at the Ulster Hospital. She alleged in her DVT hospital negligence claim against the South Eastern Care and Social Health Trust that she had not properly assessed as being at risk of deep vein thrombosis and that she should have been given preventative drugs.

The woman also alleged that when she subsequently attended Ulster Hospital´s A&E Department with symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, she was told it was probably just her hormones. This was in spite of woman aged 35 or over being in the high risk category of developing deep vein thrombosis which could cause blood clots to form, dislodge and travel up to the lungs where they could be potentially fatal.

Since June 2009, the claimant has had two further children and had to undergo surgery on each occasion for issues related to deep vein thrombosis. She now has to wear support tights and cannot walk for more than 10-15 minutes without becoming extremely tired. She also has difficulty in climbing stairs and has been told that if the deep vein thrombosis causes another clot in her leg, the leg may have to be amputated.

The DVT hospital negligence claim could not be resolved by negotiation, and it proceeded to the Belfast High Court. As the hearing was due to commence, the South Eastern Care and Social Health Trust acknowledged that there had been avoidable failings in the woman´s care, and agreed settle her DVT hospital negligence claim for £400,000.

Speaking after the hearing, the claimant´s solicitor said “If this [claim for compensation for deep vein thrombosis] serves the purpose of ensuring another person avoids this particular difficulty it will have been worthwhile. Any mum aged 35 or over should know they are at potential risk.”

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