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Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and blood clots can be serious medical conditions that may occur after surgery, injury, or as a result of certain medications.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a blood clot injury, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
Blood clots can be triggered in a range of circumstances. Quittance's panel of solicitors have assisted with medical negligence claims and claims for blood clot injuries caused while travelling on holiday.
One of the most common, and most serious, forms of blood clot injury is Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT,
People suffering from DVT can experience uncomfortable symptoms and life-threatening complications if not treated in time.
Whether a person suffers unnecessarily from Deep Vein Thrombosis as a result of medical negligence or under other circumstances, they should be able to claim for compensation.
Am I entitled to make a blood clot or DVT claim?
If you've been injured or diagnosed with an illness in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, you will be able to claim compensation.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
How long do I have to start a blood clot or DVT claim?
An injury claim will usually need to be made within 3 years of the date or your accident or injury.
You may still be able to claim compensation if you were injured by another's negligence and you only discovered it later. Generally, the clock starts ticking from the date you were diagnosed or became aware of your injury.
For injured children, a claim can be started by a parent or guardian at any time before they turn 18. Thereafter, the injured individual has until their 21st birthday to make a claim on their own.
How much compensation can I claim for a blood clot or DVT?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Blood clot or DVT
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Updated December 2023
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General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying for loss of earnings, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as anticoagulants, X-rays, CT and MRI scans, and surgery.
Can I claim for PTS or other psychological trauma?
If you have suffered psychological harm in addition to a physical injury or illness, you are not alone.
According to our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey shows that 29.03% of potential claimants sustained a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.
Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
The facts on DVT
DVT affects approximately 1 in 1,000 people every year in the UK. Defined as ‘the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein', it usually occurs in the leg or pelvic area.
Although anyone can be affected by DVT, there are a number of risk factors - such as smoking, surgery or inactivity - which can increase the likelihood of someone developing it.
An increased risk of DVT does not mitigate the duty imposed on medical professionals. A medical practitioner's failure to recognise or treat DVT where higher risk factors are present may still amount to negligence, entitling a patient to compensation.
According to BUPA, the main symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis include:
- Swelling in the affected area
- Pain and tenderness
- Warm skin that looks red
- A mild fever
If left untreated, DVT can lead to serious complications. One of the main complications is pulmonary embolism. This occurs when the blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs. Symptoms include breathlessness, chest pain and collapsing.
Other complications include post-thrombotic syndrome. This occurs when the clot damages the vein valves, causing pain, swelling and ulcers.
How should Deep Vein Thrombosis be diagnosed and treated?
By a doctor
One of the key steps in treating DVT, avoiding further complications, is getting a correct diagnosis. A person suffering with the above symptoms should visit their GP as soon as possible. It is then the GP's job to decide on the cause of the symptoms.
If Deep Vein Thrombosis is suspected, the patient should be referred to hospital for a D-dimer test, a Doppler ultrasound test or a Venogram. These can all help detect blood clots in the veins.
If detected, anti-coagulant medication, such as warfarin, may be prescribed to thin the blood and prevent further clotting.
GPs should also be actively involved in assessing a person's risk of developing DVT. A person it at higher risk if they are:
- A smoker
- Flying long haul (over 4 hours)
- On the contraceptive pill
- Suffering from a condition that makes their blood clot more readily
In these instances, appropriate monitoring and measures should be taken to avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis developing.
Any failure by the GP - whether an inadequate risk assessment, a misdiagnosis or a failure to prescribe correct medication in time - is a legitimate basis for a compensation claim based on negligence.
In a hospital
Hospitals have a duty to prevent patients developing DVT whilst in their care.
Surgery and some medical treatments can increase a person's risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis, so adequate checks should be made to reduce this risk where possible. Procedures should also be in place to identify and treat DVT as early as possible if the condition does manifest.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend a comprehensive list of medical checks and preventative actions that should be taken within 24 hours of admission. This includes:
- Carrying out sufficient medical tests
- Regarding surgical patients with trauma as being at increased risk of DVT
- Taking into account other general risk factors e.g. age, weight etc.
- Giving the patient anti-clotting medication before and after surgery
- Ensuring the patient wears compression stockings
- Providing a mechanical pump to be used on the legs after an operation
If a hospital, or its staff, fail to act according in preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis and further complications, they can also be liable for unnecessary personal injury and suffering based on negligence.
How can medical negligence by proven?
In order to win compensation, it must be proved that a doctor, hospital or its medical staff acted negligently.
First it must be shown that the treatment received by the claimant was sub-standard, for example a doctor misdiagnosed swelling in the leg or a hospital did not carry out an adequate risk assessment pre-surgery.
Secondly, it must be proved that the claimant suffered as a direct result of the sub-standard treatment - for example, proving that a pulmonary embolism was the direct result of a delay in diagnosis of DVT.
Clinical negligence claims
Blood clot or DVT injuries may be categorised as clinical negligence. Click on the icon below for more information.
How we can help you with your injury claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
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About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.