Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 13:58 UK

Payout for Walsall woman after lung clot misdiagnosis

A woman from the Black Country who nearly died after her doctor failed to diagnose a blood clot in her lungs has received a five-figure payout.

Suzanne Badhams told GPs at Broadway Medical Centre in Walsall that she may have Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) which had affected other family members.

But it was not diagnosed and she later collapsed at home with a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.

Solicitors said Dr Alakshendra Kushwaha had admitted liability for failures.

Miss Badhams, 34, of Yew Tree Estate, Walsall, said she had been told that she may need to keep taking medication for the rest of her life.

I know I'm lucky to be alive, but my life shouldn't have been threatened in the first place
Suzanne Badhams

Caroline Stoke, a medical negligence expert with Irwin Mitchell solicitors who represented Miss Badhams in her legal claim, said it was "a fundamental error" that could have ended in tragedy.

The DVT condition is the formation of a blood clot in one of the deep veins of the body, usually in the leg.

Miss Badhams went to see her GP at the centre on 19 September 2006 after she felt pain on the outside of her right calf.

Her GP assured her that she was suffering from muscle pain and prescribed a support bandage and Ibuprofen, a spokesman for Irwin Mitchell said.

But she returned eight days later when the pain worsened and saw a locum and again highlighted her family history of DVT.

Subsequent blood tests showed an abnormality which should have alerted the GP to the possibility of a DVT, but Miss Badhams was given an "all clear" by a practice nurse, the Irwin Mitchell spokesman added.

But on 4 October after struggling to walk, her father called an ambulance and she was taken to Sandwell Hospital where a pulmonary embolism was diagnosed.

'Blood test review'

Doctors said she was lucky to have survived the embolism and she remained in intensive care for six days.

Miss Badhams said she was now suffering sleep problems and did not like going out.

"I know I'm lucky to be alive, but my life shouldn't have been threatened in the first place," she said.

Dr Kushwaha admitted liability for failures in relation to the blood test results and had paid out a substantial undisclosed five-figure sum in compensation for her injuries, Irwin Mitchell solicitors said.

It said the surgery had also agreed to change the way it reviews and reports the results of patient blood tests.

In a statement, NHS Walsall said it was "satisfied that as a result of the incident Dr Kushwaha and his surgery have made the necessary changes to the way it reviews and reports patients blood tests".

Dr Kushwaha has also undertaken personal study into the diagnosis of DVT, the spokesman added.

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