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 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.