Doctor 'negligent' over DVT death
A doctor who told a woman days before she died of a blood clot to rest, use ice and wear comfortable shoes committed medical negligence, a coroner has found.
Dr Saurabh Adlakha will be reviewed by the UK's medical watchdog after incorrectly diagnosing Jacqueline Allwood, 47, with a calf sprain when he examined her at a south-east London medical centre in January last year.
An inquest at Southwark Coroner's Court today heard Ms Allwood initially limped into the Beckenham Beacon Urgent Care Centre before being referred to Dr Adlakha.
Despite mentioning a family history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), Dr Adlakha had assured her she was most likely suffering from a calf strain caused by packing up Christmas decorations a few days earlier.
Dr Adlakha said he told Ms Allwood to rest, use ice, take some ibuprofen, stretch and wear comfortable shoes.
Ms Allwood died 10 days later from a blood clot that had travelled from her leg to her lung.
Recording a narrative verdict, Coroner Andrew Harris told the court Dr Adlakha's negligence in not probing her further about her family's history of DVT and not referring her for more tests contributed to her death.
He referred Dr Adlakha to the General Medical Council for review.
"The consequences of missing a DVT are, as in this case, catastrophic," he said.
Outside court, Ms Allwood's daughters Tanya and Leanne Allwood said they were happy with the outcome.
They said while they did not necessarily want Dr Adlakha to be punished, they did want him to learn from his mistakes.
"We would never, never want to see another family go through what we have," Tanya Allwood said.
She described her mother as "one of the most sincere, nicest people you could meet".
Dr Adlakha earlier told the hearing he would conduct more thorough tests in the future because "I don't want to be here again".
Medical expert Dr Patrick Horborow said he thought the misdiagnosis was representative of a system wide failure.
"I do feel that general practitioners are working under very serious time pressures," he said.
"My concern is... the time pressures may lead to inadequate consultations."
But Dr Harris said and Ms Allwood's death did not indicate a wider problem.
Although she died of natural causes, Dr Adlakha's negligence contributed, he said.