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Cardiac Surgery Claims

Negligent cardiac surgery and delayed heart surgery claims

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I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E.Swaffield
Loughborough

Claiming for negligent cardiac surgery

During cardiac surgery, patients can suffer serious complications that can leave them in a worse position than they expected. If this is due to a poor standard of surgery, sub-standard after-care or insufficient investigations before the procedure, they may have a claim for medical negligence and be entitled to compensation.

Common problems in cardiac surgery can involve:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Blood clotting
  • Injury to heart valves or blood vessels
  • Infection

Before surgery takes place, a doctor, surgeon or specialist should clearly explain to you any concerns they may have regarding the procedure itself and the possible outcomes.

The risk of a complication during or after heart surgery is likely to be higher if you have another condition, such as diabetes, kidney disease, lung disease, or peripheral arterial disease (narrowing of the arteries in the legs).

If you or a member of your family has suffered a loss, an injury or permanent physical disability caused by an error made during cardiac surgery, your first step is to seek professional advice.

The hospital’s ‘Duty of Candour’

All hospital trusts have a legal duty to both inform and apologise to patients if mistakes have been made while in their care, which led to preventable harm, injury or loss.

Finding out why errors occurred and proving clinical negligence was the cause require knowledge of both legal and medical issues, and a sensitive understanding of how everyone involved is affected.

Our dedicated team of specialist solicitors has many years of experience in successfully resolving different types of clinical negligence cases. We can help you find out why things went wrong and, crucially, obtain compensation to ensure the financial needs of providing the necessary care, treatment and support are properly met.

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Our expert team will call you...

Our medical negligence team has years of experience working on a wide variety of medical malpractice cases so we understand just how difficult a decision it can be to bring a medical negligence case.

Our Cardiac Surgery expert team. We deal with medical negligence claims arising from Cardiac Surgery.

That’s why we are committed to guiding you through every step of the process. We ensure that your claim is handled carefully and professionally by our specialist solicitors, while working alongside medical experts, to guarantee the best results for you.

Our medical negligence team is headed by Laura Morgan who has a wealth of experience in leading complicated, high-value medical negligence cases.

Laura is recognised within the legal profession as a leader in the field of medical negligence and serious injury compensation.  Laura has acted in a wide range of cases over her 17 years of practice and has particular expertise in acting for children who have suffered brain injury due to mismanaged birth or surgical errors, and in managing claims that have resulted in the death of a loved one. Laura has achieved a number of large settlements including £5.4 million for a 7 year old and £4 million for an 11 year old child.

Laura’s expertise and dedication to her clients is recognised in the Chambers guide to the Legal Profession in which she was praised for the efficiency of her approach to case handling and described as “tenacious and detail-oriented”.

Laura has been a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel since 2005 and accredited as a Senior Litigator in the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) since 2006.  Laura is also a member of the specialist lawyers panel for Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), the UK’s leading charity committed to patient safety and justice.

Talk to us today

For an informal, confidential chat with one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors, call us now on 0151 550 5228(calls free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.

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The effects of medical negligence can be devastating for the individual and their families, so securing appropriate compensation for them as quickly as possible is our top priority.

Laura Morgan

Director of Medical Negligence

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“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

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Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining your medical records
Step
2
Providing your statement of what happened
Step
3
Minimising your loss
Step
4
Establishing that a breach of duty occurred
Step
5
Estabilishing the effect of the breach of duty
Step
86
Preparing your case for CourtCalculating the value of your claim
Step
7
Proving your loss
Step
68
Calculating the value of your claimPreparing your case for Court
Step
9
Attending the trial in Court
Step
10
Awarding your compensation claim

Your questions... answered

What is cardiac surgery?

Cardiac surgery refers to the procedures that are performed by a specialist cardiac surgeon on the heart itself and/or the surrounding blood vessels.

What are common complications of cardiac surgery?

Heart surgery complications can be different for each patient but the most common complications are:

  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Blood clotting.
  • Neurological disorders - caused by blood clotting and lack of oxygen supply, which can lead to memory loss, paralysis, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy.
  • Irregular heartbeats.
  • Injury to heart valves or blood vessels.
  • Heart valve or tissue damage.
  • Severing of the aortic valve.    
  • Blood fills the sac surrounding the heart.

What are the most common types of cardiac surgery?

Open-Heart Surgery

Open-heart surgery, which refers to the opening of the chest not the heart, is used for:

  • Coronary artery bypass operations.
  • Repairing or replacing heart valves.
  • Treating atrial fibrillation - an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate.
  • Heart transplants.

A surgeon makes a large incision (cut) in the chest to open the rib cage and operate on the heart.  The surgeon also may open the heart, depending on the type of surgery. The patient is connected to a heart-lung bypass machine, which takes over the heart's pumping action and moves blood away from the heart. The surgeon is then able to operate on a heart that is neither beating nor has blood flowing through the chambers.

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting  (CABG)

A blood vessel is removed from another part of the body – usually the chest, leg or arm – and attached above and below the narrowed or blocked area of the coronary artery. The new blood vessel, known as a graft, ‘bypasses’ the narrowed or blocked parts of the artery to improve blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart.

A CABG is carried out under general anaesthetic and usually takes between three and six hours to complete.

Around 20,000 CABG procedures are performed in England every year, most of which are carried out on males, 80% of whom are aged 60 years and above.

Aortic Valve Repair or Replacement

The aortic valve is a flap that acts as a one-way gate, opening and closing to control the flow of blood out of the left hand side ventricle (chamber) of the heart to the main artery, known as the aorta.

The aortic valve may need to be replaced if:

  • the valve becomes narrowed and obstructs the blood flowing through.
  • the valve leaks and blood flows back into the left ventricle.
  • the valve no longer works properly.

The heart is stopped and the aortic valve is removed and replaced with an artificial valve, known as a prosthesis.

Around one in 50 patients will not survive the procedure, due to  complications that arise either during or shortly after surgery.

Aneurysm Repair

An aneurysm in the heart most often occurs in the heart's lower left ventricle (chamber).

An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in the wall of an artery or heart muscle, which can occur if the artery wall becomes weak. Pressure from blood passing through the artery or heart causes the weakened area to bulge.  Over time, an aneurysm can grow and burst, causing dangerous, often fatal, internal bleeding.

Surgery to repair an aneurysm involves replacing the weak section of the artery or heart wall with a patch or graft.

Pacemaker Implant

 A pacemaker is a small electrical device implanted in the chest, which is attached by a wire to the heart and sends electrical pulses to help keep the heart beating regularly.

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is similar to a pacemaker, but sends a larger electrical shock to get the heart pumping again.

The pacemaker is implanted under the skin near the collarbone on the left side of the chest and attached to a wire via a blood vessel to the heart.

The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic and usually takes around one hour.

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Cardiac surgery negligence – do I have a claim?

To bring a successful negligence claim, it will be necessary to prove that:

  • The treatment received fell below a generally accepted standard expected from a cardiac surgeon
  • The injury or harm suffered must have been avoidable ‘at the time and in the circumstances’.

Cardiac surgery refers to the procedures that are performed by a specialist cardiac surgeon on the heart itself and/or the surrounding blood vessels.

Heart surgery complications can be different for each patient but the most common complications are:

  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Blood clotting.
  • Neurological disorders - caused by blood clotting and lack of oxygen supply, which can lead to memory loss, paralysis, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy.
  • Irregular heartbeats.
  • Injury to heart valves or blood vessels.
  • Heart valve or tissue damage.
  • Severing of the aortic valve.    
  • Blood fills the sac surrounding the heart.

Open-Heart Surgery

Open-heart surgery, which refers to the opening of the chest not the heart, is used for:

  • Coronary artery bypass operations.
  • Repairing or replacing heart valves.
  • Treating atrial fibrillation - an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate.
  • Heart transplants.

A surgeon makes a large incision (cut) in the chest to open the rib cage and operate on the heart.  The surgeon also may open the heart, depending on the type of surgery. The patient is connected to a heart-lung bypass machine, which takes over the heart's pumping action and moves blood away from the heart. The surgeon is then able to operate on a heart that is neither beating nor has blood flowing through the chambers.

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting  (CABG)

A blood vessel is removed from another part of the body – usually the chest, leg or arm – and attached above and below the narrowed or blocked area of the coronary artery. The new blood vessel, known as a graft, ‘bypasses’ the narrowed or blocked parts of the artery to improve blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart.

A CABG is carried out under general anaesthetic and usually takes between three and six hours to complete.

Around 20,000 CABG procedures are performed in England every year, most of which are carried out on males, 80% of whom are aged 60 years and above.

Aortic Valve Repair or Replacement

The aortic valve is a flap that acts as a one-way gate, opening and closing to control the flow of blood out of the left hand side ventricle (chamber) of the heart to the main artery, known as the aorta.

The aortic valve may need to be replaced if:

  • the valve becomes narrowed and obstructs the blood flowing through.
  • the valve leaks and blood flows back into the left ventricle.
  • the valve no longer works properly.

The heart is stopped and the aortic valve is removed and replaced with an artificial valve, known as a prosthesis.

Around one in 50 patients will not survive the procedure, due to  complications that arise either during or shortly after surgery.

Aneurysm Repair

An aneurysm in the heart most often occurs in the heart's lower left ventricle (chamber).

An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in the wall of an artery or heart muscle, which can occur if the artery wall becomes weak. Pressure from blood passing through the artery or heart causes the weakened area to bulge.  Over time, an aneurysm can grow and burst, causing dangerous, often fatal, internal bleeding.

Surgery to repair an aneurysm involves replacing the weak section of the artery or heart wall with a patch or graft.

Pacemaker Implant

 A pacemaker is a small electrical device implanted in the chest, which is attached by a wire to the heart and sends electrical pulses to help keep the heart beating regularly.

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is similar to a pacemaker, but sends a larger electrical shock to get the heart pumping again.

The pacemaker is implanted under the skin near the collarbone on the left side of the chest and attached to a wire via a blood vessel to the heart.

The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic and usually takes around one hour.

Read less

To bring a successful negligence claim, it will be necessary to prove that:

  • The treatment received fell below a generally accepted standard expected from a cardiac surgeon
  • The injury or harm suffered must have been avoidable ‘at the time and in the circumstances’.