Belfast Telegraph

£400,000 for mum over blood clot diagnosed incorrectly

By Alan Erwin

A mother who developed a potentially fatal blood clot after giving birth - but was told it was probably just her hormones - has been awarded £400,000 in compensation.

The 41-year-old civil servant from Belfast, who has not been named, will receive the payout to settle her medical negligence case against South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust.

She developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in her leg after her first child was born at the Ulster Hospital in June 2009.

Her lawsuit centred on claims that she was not properly assessed as being in the risk category of pregnancy after the age of 35.

Lawyers for the woman argued that she should have been given preventative drugs.

Further negligence occurred when she first went to accident and emergency following the birth with DVT symptoms.

With women more likely to develop blood clots of this type during pregnancy, they can be fatal if they dislodge and travel to the lungs.

The woman, who has since had two more children, said she was told it was probably just her hormones.

Liability was admitted before the level of compensation was agreed.

Speaking after the outcome at Belfast High Court yesterday, she spoke of the ongoing impact.

"It's affected every aspect of my life, I just feel old before my time," she said. "I find walking for more than 10-15 minutes very hard to endure and stairs are incredibly difficult."

She had to undergo further operations following the births of her other two children due to associated issues.

"If it had clotted again I could have lost my leg," she added.

As well as her medication, the woman says she now has to wear tight stockings "the equivalent of a wetsuit".

Her solicitor, Paddy Mullarkey of Campbell Fitzpatrick, stressed that his client's injury could have been avoided.

"If this litigation serves the purpose of ensuring another person avoids this particular difficulty it will have been worthwhile," he said. "Any mum aged 35 or over should know they are at potential risk."

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