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Posted on 27th October 2017

Blood Clots Could Have Been Avoided With Correct Treatment

A patient who went to hospital because of back pain was found to have two slipped disks. In severe pain, she was admitted to the hospital in Camberley.

Despite requesting them several times, medical staff at the hospital failed to administer blood thinning medication or socks to compress her legs. Both items were to prevent blood clots when resting in bed.

After five days the patient was discharged from hospital and was expecting to be referred to a physiotherapist for treatment as well as a pain specialist.

Just one week later the patient was re-admitted to hospital because her back pain had become worse. She was put on bed rest for the next five days however compression socks and blood thinning medication was not given again. The woman was discharged and sent home.

Two days later she was rushed back to hospital because she was suffering from a crushing sensation in her chest and breathing was difficult. Whilst at the hospital she had an x-ray on her chest, an echocardiogram (ECG) and a CT pulmonary angiogram as well as blood tests to check for blood clots as a precaution.

The scans and tests revealed that the woman was suffering from multiple blood clots in both lungs because she had not been given the medication or compression stockings she needed to avoid her blood clotting. Immediately after being diagnosed with venous thromboembolism (VTE) she was given the blood thinning medication and oxygen.

The patient commented “After I was finally discharged from hospital, I really struggled to get my life back on track. For the first few weeks I wasn’t allowed to walk more than 30 minutes a day or sit on long car journeys as this would risk more clots. Ive had to change my whole lifestyle and diet, and I couldn’t do many of the activities I used to – I used to be very outgoing. I even missed my best friend’s wedding as the journey was too long and I’d have been on my feet the whole day”

Changes made by the hospital since the incident have seen that their figure for patients admitted and risk assessed for VTE is 99.6% with the national target being 95%.


A venous thromboembolism is a blood clot which forms in a vein most commonly in the legs but can also form in the lungs. When a clot forms in the legs it is classed as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) but if it forms in the lungs it is known as a Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

In the US, as many as 300,000 deaths per year are associated with VTE whilst in Europe there are as many as 544,000 VTE related deaths per year. Worldwide there are approximately 10 million cases of VTE.

With the condition being so common, medical staff should be able to easily identify patients at risk of, or suffering from VTE.

If you or a loved one has had a DVT, PE or VTE which was not diagnosed quickly enough, there may be grounds to make a compensation claim for clinical negligence. For a free claim assessment, contact us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment.