Royal Prince Alfred Hospital pay compensation to grieving family

Published 22 Sep 2017

Our clients were the Mother, Father and sister of the patient who

The patient was taken to the emergency department at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where x-rays were performed. A fracture of the proximal fibula and also oblique fracture of the distal tibia was confirmed.

The patient was admitted to the hospital and the fracture was repaired through open reduction and internal fixation. She was discharged on 17 May 2010.

During the admission to hospital the patient was given Clexane which is an anticoagulant but was not prescribed any Clexane or other DVT prophylactics on discharge.The patient was mobilizing and deemed safe for discharge.She was advised to attend a follow up clinic at Orthopaedic Outpatients in 2 weeks.

The patient attended Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s outpatient physiotherapy and orthopaedic clinics on 28 May 2010, 9 July 2010, 19 July 2010 and 26 July 2010.

By the time the patient presented on 26 July 2010 to the outpatient’s physiotherapy clinic she was complaining of swelling in the right calf.

On 2 August 2010 the patient attended Royal Prince Alfred Hospital outpatient’s physiotherapy where she complained that the ankle was more swollen. On 20 August 2010 the patient attended the orthopaedic clinic at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. When she attended the physiotherapy out- patient department at the hospital on 30 August 2010 she complained of an inability to weight bear and the fact that her leg felt more swollen.

On 6 September 2010 the patient again attended Royal Prince Alfred Hospital outpatient’s physiotherapy department and expressed concern about the swelling in her leg and the fact that her leg was not healing.

On the morning of 17 September 2010 the patient collapsed at home with a severe headache.Ambulance officers attended and found her to be in cardiac arrest.She was taken by ambulance to hospital where life was pronounced extinct.The cause of death was massive pulmonary embolism.

Our clients suffered a nervous shock in relation to the patient’s untimely and completely avoidable death.

We had our clients assessed by an expert who detailed the level of impairment and ongoing disabilities that affected our client as a result of suffering from nervous shock. The reports prepared by our experts allowed us to quantify the damage suffered by our clients and helped to clarify the monetary compensation that our clients might be awarded by a Court.

We commenced proceedings in the District Court of NSW against Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

We alleged Royal Prince Alfred Hospital owed a duty to its patients and their families, a non-delegable duty of care to provide her with medical treatment, exercising due care and skill.  This duty extended to the post-operative treatment in the outpatient clinic and to consider possible post-surgical complications such as DVT and to investigate and treat this condition appropriately. By failing to adequately diagnose and treat the patient’s condition, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital breached its duty of care to the patient and to our clients, and this resulted in the patient’s death.

The Defendants obtained their own expert evidence and agreed to engage in settlement negotiations. We pushed for an early settlement conference hoping to obtain a quick resolution to the matter for our clients.

At the informal settlement conference the parties agreed to settle all three matters.  This was a great result for our clients.  Our clients were happy to have a resolution to their matters and compensation for the damage they had suffered.

At Gerard Malouf and Partners we are experts medical negligence claims especially those that result in nervous shocks. If you have suffered a recognised psychiatric condition due to the act of a medical practitioner please contact us today for a free consultation with one of our expert lawyers. We will be happy to discuss how can assist you on a No Win No Fee basis to obtain the compensation that you are entitled to.