Failure to diagnose brain haemorrhage led to death

Doctors’ failure to diagnose a brain haemorrhage lead to the death of a 67 year old woman.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust have admitted liability and the NHS Litigation Authority agreed to pay an undisclosed sum in an out of court settlement for the family’s loss.

Christine Smith had first gone to North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple complaining of persistent headaches, vertigo and numbness in her face.

She was referred to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth on the 2nd July where she was examined. Instead of being admitted for surgery, a further appointment was scheduled for 20th July.

Mrs Smith died on 17th July at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol from a brain haemorrhage after she collapsed at home the day before.

Patrick Oliver, expert medical negligence solicitor at Swain & Co, says, “Failure to diagnose a condition or illness can have very serious consequences, and in this tragic case, it led to a woman losing her life.”

“Opportunities were missed to save Mrs Smith’s life. I am pleased to see the hospitals responsible admitting their failings.”