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Posted on 8th November 2017

Coroner Concludes Life Could Have Been Saved

A 45 year old man passed away after a hospital failed to treat a major blood vessel tear.

The man attended his daughter’s school prom but collapsed with chest pains. He was taken to Royal Surrey County Hospital but was discharged the next day even though there were concerns because of his family’s medical history of heart disease.

The man’s chest pains continued throughout the next week and he visited his GP three times over that period. He collapsed again whilst at home so his wife telephoned an ambulance and started CPR but unfortunately it was too late to save him.

The 44 year old had suffered from a tear in a major blood vessel called an aortic dissection. The aorta is responsible for providing oxygen to the whole body via the blood.

The inquest into the man’s death concluded that a CT scan was not performed and if it had been, the aortic dissection had a 70% success rate in being found. If the condition had been found, the hospital could have performed emergency surgery and he could have survived.

A spokesperson for the trust commented “The Trust would like to offer an unreserved apology to [the man’s] family for failings in some aspects of the care provided, which led to missed opportunities to achieve a better outcome. Following his death, we carried out a careful and detailed investigation, the results of which were shared with both his family and the coroner”


When a patient presents at hospital with chest pains it is extremely important that the correct procedures are followed. Medical staff have literature they can use if they are unsure and one such publication is NICE guidelines.

The NICE guidelines advise “If clinical assessment and resting 12-lead ECG make a diagnosis of ACS (Acute Coronary Syndrome) less likely, consider other acute conditions. First consider those that are life-threatening such as pulmonary embolism, aortic dissection or pneumonia” Nice guidelines go on to say “Only consider early chest computed tomography (CT) to rule out other diagnoses such as pulmonary embolism or aortic dissection”

If you or a loved one has experienced chest pains and a hospital has failed to diagnose a heart attack or other heart condition you may be entitled to make a compensation claim for medical negligence.

Contact us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment.