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Hospitals In Scotland Not Diagnosing DVT Properly

According to a report by the public services watchdog, the hospitals in Scotland are failing to properly diagnose the clinical presentations of patients with potentially// fatal condition known as ‘Deep vein thrombosis’ (DVT), wherein a blood clot develops in the vein, usually in the leg.

An enquiry that was conducted in the cases of two women, both of whom died from DVT, found that the failure to diagnose the condition had resulted in the life saving treatment not having been given. One case a 23 yr old student, Katie McPherson reportedly consulted her GP and doctors in two hospitals, but each time she was sent away. Seven days later she died from DVT. The other case was against Dr Grey’s hospital in Elgin by the daughter of a patient who died of DVT one month after the doctors failed to carry out the proper investigations and discharged her as ‘being well’.

The parents of Katie said yesterday the report by Professor Alice Brown of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman SPSO, has confirmed their belief that their daughter could have been saved. SPSO also has upheld a series of complaints against NHS Grampian made by the dead woman’s daughter.

Prof Brown explained that she would be bringing the matter to the attention of the Executive and NHS Quality Improvement Scotland for asking them to consider the need for a full Scotland wide guidance on the management of suspected DVT. While acknowledging that DVT is difficult disease to diagnose, she felt that as it is not an uncommon condition or an unique condition within the NHS in Scotland, she urged that all the health boards to review their treatment lines for the management of suspected DVT.

DVT is a condition that has been linked to the travel of long distances on flights and a majority of cases are seen in patients in hospitals who are immobilised for a long time. It is estimated that 1 in 2, 000 people in UK develop DVT each year. It is known to be very fatal if the
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