The General Medical Council gave a UK General Practioner an official warning for failing to diagnose leg deep vein thrombosis on a patient. The patient consequently died from a pulmonary embolism.
The patient from Newbury saw the GP, Dr Stiff multiple times with concerns about deep vein thrombosis. The General Medical Council investigation concluded that Dr Stiff failed to adequately assess the patient's swollen ankle and failed to refer the patient for further investigations to exclude deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The GP performed a Deep vein thrombosis ultrasound scan of the leg, despite the fact that he had failed to maintain a record of any continuing professional development in ultrasound scanning since 2002.
Strawberry Hill Medical Centre where Dr Stiff works issued a statement saying:
"Having been this patient’s general practitioner for many years, Dr Stiff is sorry for and fully understands the distress that this patient’s death will have caused her family."
Unfortunately failing to diagnose deep-vein thrombosis happens too often and it is unacceptable when you consider that a simple 10 minutes DVT ultrasound scan can diagnose the disease and save the patient's life. Dr Stiff performed a DVT ultrasound scan on the patient, he did not, however, have the experience and knowledge required to definitely exclude or confirmed a DVT.
Unfortunately, it is very common for deep vein thrombosis and other pathologies to be misdiagnosed or the diagnosis can be delayed. Sometimes can have grave consequences for their patients and families as in this case.
Dr Stiff case echoes Dr. Fardeen Haque who again not only missed deep-vein thrombosis in the patient's legs but also alter her notes after her death four days later.
Dr Haque so the patient and provisionally diagnosed Baker cysts. A Baker's cyst is wailing on the back of the knee and not life-threatening but he never ordered an ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnosis.
Four days later the patient collapsed and was taken to the hospital but died on the way. A post-mortem examination found out that the patient died from a pulmonary embolism caused by leg DVT.
Unfortunately, doctors can misdiagnosed pathologists, they are human after all. This is why sometimes you have to consider taking responsibility for your own health.
A leg DVT ultrasound scan, in our clinic in London, is very affordable at £164. You can book a private ultrasound scan with no GP's referral and in both cases could have saved the patient's lives.