Cardiac Surgery Negligence Claim Solicitors
Every year, millions of us across the UK will experience some kind of heart condition.
Conditions such as coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy or arrhythmias can seriously affect a patient’s life, and can even be life-threatening.
Many patients will therefore undergo one or several heart surgeries, which can cause them further stress and turmoil.
When patients suffer avoidable harm during treatment, this could be an example of medical negligence.
At SDS Solicitors, we understand that heart conditions, and their treatment methods, are extremely difficult to go through.
That’s why we always advocate for our clients by providing only the best legal advice and counsel.
If you believe that you, or someone you know, have suffered due to improper care from a healthcare professional before, during or after heart surgery, then you could have a cardiac surgery negligence claim.
To find out whether you could be entitled to compensation, get in touch.
Why choose us?
SDS Solicitors are a team of expert solicitors with years of experience in handling cases of cardiac surgery negligence. We know just how traumatic of an experience it can be.
Afterall, we’ve been fighting for the best for our clients since 1997.
We may be based in Manchester, but we help people from all over England and Wales that have suffered, or know someone who has suffered, through cardiac surgery negligence.
We also specialise in no win no fee claims. So, if you don’t win your claim, you won’t have to pay.
If you believe that you, or someone you know, has suffered unnecessary harm due to improper care, then you could have a claim.
To find out for sure, simply call us for free using the number at the top of this page, or fill out our online contact form. A member of our expert team will get back to you as soon as possible.
How does medical negligence affect the most common heart conditions?
Some of the most common heart conditions that can be dangerously worsened by medical negligence include:
1. Coronary heart disease
Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of death in the UK and worldwide. When vital blood vessels supplying the heart with oxygenated blood are blocked or narrowed, then the patient may be diagnosed with coronary heart disease (CHD).
When it comes to heart conditions, prevention should always be the priority as treating heart conditions is typically far more difficult than preventing them.
Medicine, lifestyle changes, or an angioplasty are all methods of preventing a future heart attack whilst treating conditions such as CHD. But when CHD goes undiagnosed, the condition will typically worsen over time.
The longer CHD goes untreated, the greater the risk of a heart attack.
The early symptoms of CHD include fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping and mood swings. Should these symptoms worsen or should the patient experience heart palpitations or another irregularity, they may soon suffer with a heart attack.
All medical professionals are trained to look out for signs of heart disease. These warning signs need to be spotted as soon as possible to prevent significant harm being caused, but sometimes medical staff are too late in noticing the important early signs.
If you or someone you know have suffered due to a doctor failing to diagnose CHD in time, then you could have a claim for medical negligence.
Cardiomyopathy is a generic term that refers to a number of conditions affecting the muscles of the heart, especially the heart’s chamber walls. When the walls of the heart become stretched, thin, thickened, or rigid, then the heart’s ability to pump blood around the body may be affected.
Many cases of cardiomyopathy go undiagnosed.
When caught early – through observing common symptoms such as fatigue, swelling in the legs and ankles, heart palpitations, trouble breathing or fainting - then doctors may be able to prescribe healthy lifestyle changes (where the condition is not inherited) to help the patient manage and slow down the condition.
They may even suggest surgery.
But without the correct diagnosis, doctors will not be able to correctly treat their patient. If you, or someone close to you, have suffered avoidable harm after your medical practitioners have missed these symptoms or misdiagnoses them, then you could have a claim for a compensation.
Electrical signals in the heart control the heart’s rhythm. When an abnormality occurs in the heart’s rhythm, such as the heart beating too quickly, too slowly or irregularly, then this is known as an arrhythmia.
Those suffering with certain kinds of arrhythmias, such as supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) or ventricular fibrillation, may feel significant heart palpitations. Unfortunately, patients and medical professionals alike may often mistake this for a panic attack.
When medical professionals do not correctly diagnose an arrhythmia in time, particularly a rare but serious form of arrhythmia such as ventricular fibrillation (VF), then the patient could suffer further damage to the heart or even death.
Failure to diagnose an arrythmia could result in serious consequences for the patient, and so any case of misdiagnosis (or lack of diagnosis) could potentially result in the sufferer, or their family, being able to make a claim.
4. Heart attack
The symptoms of a heart attack – including shortness of breath, chest brain and pain in the jaw, neck, shoulders, or arms – are familiar to most of us.
And yet research has shown that almost a third of those who suffer with a heart attack are misdiagnosed, with women being 50% more likely than men to receive an initial misdiagnosis.
The misdiagnosis, or prolonged diagnosis, of a heart attack may result in further pain, stress, and even death. In fact, the same study found that in a ten-year period, an average of 250 deaths per year could be prevented through correct diagnosis of a heart attack.
If you have suffered due to lack of a correct diagnosis for a heart attack, then you could have a claim. To find out for sure, get in touch with us.
How does medical negligence affect the most common kinds of cardiac surgery?
Simply put, cardiac surgery describes any surgery that is used to treat conditions affecting the heart.
Where medicine alone is not enough, surgeons may suggest the following for their patients:
1. Coronary artery bypass graft (bypass surgery)
For those suffering with blocked or narrowed arteries, a surgeon may suggest a coronary artery bypass graft. While the heart continues to pump blood without a heart-lung machine, an off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) may be performed.
This involves a blood vessel being inserted between a non-blocked section of the coronary artery and the aorta (the main artery carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body).
In some cases, an artery supplying blood to the wall of the chest will be diverted to one of the heart’s main arteries. This will allow blood to flow around any narrowed sections of coronary artery.
Bypass surgery is sometimes performed last-minute when another heart procedure goes wrong. As bypass surgery can result in significant scarring and additional recovery time for a patient, those who need to go through this surgery as a result of avoidable harm caused in the initial surgery could have a case for medical negligence.
2. Coronary angioplasty
Otherwise known as a balloon angioplasty, a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), a coronary angioplasty may be prescribed for a number of reasons, including as an emergency treatment during a heart attack.
During this procedure, a small balloon is used to push the fatty tissue in the artery outwards, allowing the blood to flow through the artery more easily.
Then, a metal stent that appears like a thin tube of wire mesh is typically placed inside of the artery to hold it open.
This procedure is extremely intricate, and absolute precision on the part of the surgeon is essential. Because of the delicate nature of angioplasties, there have been cases where surgeons have accidentally perforated a patient’s artery.
This kind of mistake is life-threatening and can cause blood to accumulate around the heart, resulting in the patient suffering further damage to the heart and even, potentially, cardiac arrest and/or a reduced life expectancy.
Mistakes such as these are incredibly traumatic for the patient and are examples of medical negligence.
The compensation claimed for in cases such as these would take into account the patient’s physical, emotional, financial and mental suffering.
Do I have a claim?
While there is no way to know if you could have a claim without seeking out expert legal advice, examples of cardiac surgery negligence typically involve one of the following:
Failure (on the part of the surgeon and/or medical professionals) to:
- Examine the patient carefully and thoroughly
- Warn the patient of risks involved with all surgeries, treatments and procedures
- Correctly use and prepare the patient for anaesthesia
- Refer the patient to the appropriate healthcare experts for future examination and monitoring
- Correctly follow-up on test results
- Correctly diagnose the condition
If any of the above sounds familiar, or if you or someone you know has experienced unnecessary harm due to the action or inaction of medical health professionals, you could have a claim and be entitled to compensation.
I think I have a claim. What happens next?
The process of making a claim is complicated. But you aren’t alone.
At SDS Solicitors, we simplify this process – firstly, by advising clients as to whether they do have a claim or not, then, if it is a case of negligence, by taking into account the financial, mental, physical and emotional harm that has been caused in order to learn how much compensation you could be entitled to, and finally, by supporting you through the process of making a claim.
To find out if you could have a claim, or to learn more about how we can help, simply get in touch with us.
We are a leading specialist medical negligence law firm acting for claimants nationwide.
Our expert medical negligence solicitors regularly act for clients across Greater Manchester including Ashton, Bury, Bolton, Radcliffe, Prestwich, Middleton, Failsworth, Rochdale, Oldham and Whitefield.
Our team of recognised Surgery Negligence Claims Solicitors can support your needs wherever you live in Wales, England & Northern Ireland.
Call us for free now using the number at the top of the page or complete the online contact form and a member of our team will get back to you.