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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 December 2007, 16:12 GMT
Parents praise DVT action pledge
Katie McPherson
Staff at two hospitals failed to spot Katie McPherson's condition
The family of a student who died from an undiagnosed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) has welcomed efforts to improve diagnosis of the condition.

Scotland's chief medical officer Dr Harry Burns is to contact the country's health boards about the issue.

Gordon and Jane McPherson have campaigned for increased awareness of DVT since their daughter Katie died.

Katie, 23, from Langbank, Renfrewshire, died in 2003 after medics at two hospitals failed to diagnose DVT.

Her parents have called for all health boards to work to the same guidelines when diagnosing and treating the condition.

It would appear that people are starting to listen to us, and hopefully if they do listen to us and do this a lot of lives will be saved.
Gordon McPherson

They also want a screening programme to be introduced so babies can be tested to see if they have the "Factor V" gene, which increases susceptibility to DVT.

The McPhersons took their campaign to the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee in October, calling for mandatory assessment tools for DVT to be brought in by all health boards.

Welcoming news that NHS boards are to be asked to take action over DVT "without delay", Mr McPherson said: "It would appear that people are starting to listen to us, and hopefully if they do listen to us and do this a lot of lives will be saved.

"One of the biggest things we've been pushing for is for more commonality between the health boards, because there is such a variance in the diagnosis and treatment of this.

"To see every health board working to the same guidelines is what we want."

'Something positive'

The fifth anniversary of Katie's death is just one month away, on 26 January.

Mr McPherson added: "It's good to have something positive with the anniversary of Katie's death coming up."

Public health minister Shona Robison confirmed: "The chief medical office and the chairman of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland will shortly be writing to all NHS boards addressing issues regarding protocol and procedures relating to assessment and treatment of suspected DVT.

"The Scottish Government will expect NHS boards to take any action necessary without delay."

SEE ALSO
Parents call for DVT improvements
02 Oct 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
DVT diagnosis failure criticised
31 May 06 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Hospital criticised over DVT case
30 May 06 |  North East/N Isles

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