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Family Financially Compensated after Stroke Detection Failure

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The health department has agree to pay 93,000 euro in compensation to the family of a woman who died from a stroke that had not been detected at Torrevieja Hospital.

The money will go to the husband and three children of the woman, as decreed by the Superior Court of Valencia (TSJCV) in a judgement dated June 15 and made public this Friday.

The woman died on January 9, 2014 because of a cerebral stroke that had not been diagnosed eight days earlier, on January 1, when she went to the emergency room of the Hospital in Torrevieja after having fallen after fainting.

The patient, aged 65 and with a history of hypertension, showed clinical signs of malaise, nausea and vomiting, intense headache and a marked weakness. Doctors discharged the patient with a diagnosis of dizziness and prescribed medication, without carrying out further tests.

Six days later, on January 7, the doctor examined the woman, because she still had headaches and her right eyelid had dropped, and so referred her to the emergency room of the Hospital Universitario de Vigo. There she was subjected to various cranial tests which uncovered a brain injury. Although it was operated on immediately, she fell into a coma and died within two days.

After analysing various expert reports contributed to the cause of death, the court concluded that there is no doubt that there was “a bad practice in the Hospital of Torrevieja”, specifically in the emergency department because no evidence that the victim “correctly anamnesis” was practised. Anamnesis is medical jargon which means to collect data of the clinical history of a patient in order to make a diagnosis. “Given the characteristics of this malpractice and evolution suffered by the patient to the fatal outcome, considering the room that we have a case of lost opportunity,” say the judges. The court cites in support of his thesis the report of an expert witness for the plaintiffs, whereby SAH (subarachnoid hemorrhage, one causing stroke) “has a 70% mortality rate if not treated early,”.

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