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Venous thromboembolism or VTE is a life-threatening condition which requires urgent investigation and treatment. Delayed diagnosis of VTE and treatment for the blood clots which block the flow of blood and oxygen to vital organs and tissues of the body can result in death or permanent disability from brain injury, stroke, heart failure, lung damage, and amputation.

VTE is the leading preventable cause of deaths in hospital. Most VTEs occur during or after hospital care. VTE and blood clots are also the most common cause of maternal death for mothers during pregnancy, birth and postnatally.

Untreated VTE leaves severe and lasting consequences which can be life-changing for individuals and their families. Compensation after VTE negligence can help ease the financial impact by replacing lost income and ensuring there is money to pay for therapies and specialist equipment, home adaptations and help with care.

Our medical negligence solicitors are highly experienced in securing the help and financial compensation that our clients deserve after injury or bereavement from mistakes in medical treatment or maternity care. Our clients benefit from:

  • Free initial advice about making a VTE medical negligence claim and responding to HSIB/HSSIB/CQC or NHS Resolution;
  • No win no fee funding arrangements;
  • Interim payments to help pay for therapies, care, equipment and home adaptations, and to ease financial hardship;
  • Compensation to restore financial stability and meet the costs arising from lifelong disability or the loss caused by  a parent or partner’s death;
  • Additional support where needed from our experts in Court of Protection deputyship, community care and special educational needs.

Our personal injury specialists can also advise in cases where venous thromboembolism, such as a DVT or pulmonary embolism, was caused by traumatic injury, such as in an RTA road traffic accident.


What is venous thromboembolism (VTE)?

A blood clot which forms in a vein, where it blocks or restricts the flow of blood, is called a venous thrombosis. When  part of the blood clot breaks off and moves through the bloodstream to block a blood vessel in another part of the body, this is known as venous thromboembolism or VTE.

DVT or deep vein thrombosis is a type of VTE. DVT means that a blood clot has formed in a deep vein, such as in the lower leg. DVTs can sometimes be caused by being immobile for a long period of time, such as sitting for hours on a long-haul flight or an extended period of bed rest in hospital after surgery. Untreated DVT can lead to serious complications, including pulmonary embolism (PE).

Pulmonary embolism or PE is another type of VTE, which is caused when the breakaway blood clot causes a partial restriction of the blood flow or complete blockage in one or more of the arteries of the lung. Pulmonary embolism (PE) is often caused by clots which have been carried by the bloodstream from a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the leg. Delays in treating PE can lead to death or disability from heart failure, arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, and lung damage (pulmonary infarction).

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST or CVT) is a very rare form of VTE which occurs when a blood clot blocks the large vein which drains blood from the brain. If untreated, CVT can cause brain injury from bleeding (haemorrhage) and swelling within the brain and stroke.


What are the risk factors for VTE?

VTE affects people of any age, gender, race or ethnicity.  Up to 60% of all VTEs are associated with hospital care. Guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) requires hospitals to assess each patient’s individual risk of VTE on their admission to hospital and reassess their risk whenever their clinical condition changes.

Factors which may increase an individual’s risk of thrombosis include:

  • Staying as an inpatient in hospital or other long-term bed rest;
  • Surgery, especially on the pelvis, abdomen, or hip/knee replacement surgery;  
  • Traumatic injury or major trauma, such as in a road traffic accident;
  • Broken bones or other injury which cause injury to a vein;
  • Cancer and its treatment;
  • Pregnancy, birth and the weeks immediately afterwards (postnatal );
  • Contraceptives, especially those containing oestrogen (estrogen);
  • HRT or hormone replacement therapy;
  • Other family members having blood clots (family history of blood clots);
  • Being overweight (obesity);
  • Long periods of immobility, such as sitting  especially with legs crossed;
  • Dehydration;
  • Smoking.


What kind of injuries can be compensated in VTE claims?

We help clients claim compensation after negligent VTE treatment leads to long term disability and loss from:


How much compensation can I claim for venous thromboembolism?

The amount of compensation that can be claimed depends on the severity of the injury and its impact on the individual’s life. Claims for severe disability may include compensation for:

  • pain, suffering and disability;
  • costs of care and case management;
  • prosthetics (after amputation);
  • rehabilitation and therapies, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy;
  • medical/surgical costs;
  • PTSD treatment or psychological counselling;
  • specialist vehicles, aids and equipment;
  • loss of earnings or pension;
  • additional costs of adapted accommodation;
  • Court of Protection deputyship in cases involving loss of mental capacity.

Where the negligence resulted in fatal injury, the deceased’s dependant family may be able to claim sums to replace the loss of the deceased’s income and services to the family (such as childcare, housekeeping etc), as well as funeral costs and other expenses, the statutory bereavement award, and compensation for the deceased’s pain and suffering before their death.

Previous Cases

£900,000 settlement for a man who suffered a thrombosis and needed a below-knee amputation after a vascular consultant failed to take action to surgically repair a popliteal artery aneurysm.

Compensation settlement for a man with a history of cardiac surgery and a pre-existing heart condition who suffered a pulmonary embolism (PE), breathlessness and psychological injury when staff at an urgent care centre failed to diagnose infective endocarditis.

Compensation settlement for non-dependent family of a 70-year-old woman who died after hospital failure to diagnose and treat a pulmonary embolism (PE). 

Successful trial win and settlement for the family of a new mother who suffered a CVT and cardiac arrest during her postnatal care, causing severe brain injury which has left her in a minimally responsive state.

£450,000 settlement for a 70-year-old man with a medical history of thrombosis and popliteal vascular disease who suffered a thrombosis leading to below-knee amputation after anticoagulation medication errors during surgery for an unrelated condition. Interim payments were used to buy a bespoke prosthetic limb whilst the case was ongoing. 

Risks of VTE in pregnancy

During and after pregnancy the mother has a higher risk of developing venous thrombosis than someone of the same age who isn’t pregnant. The risk of pregnancy-related VTE is higher where the mother:

    • has had a previous thrombosis;
    • has an increased risk of blood clots from a condition called thrombophilia;
    • has a family history of venous thrombosis;
    • is over 35 years of age;
    • is overweight ( BMI over 30);  
    • has pre-eclampsia;
    • has just had a caesarean section;
    • lost more than 1000ml (one litre) of blood during childbirth or has had a blood transfusion;  
    • has had more than two children;
    • is immobile for long periods of time;
    • is a smoker.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the most common cause of maternal mortality. Reports by MBRRACE-UK and HSIB have suggested that the deaths of many of these mothers could have been avoided with better care.

Maternal death can be caused by VTE at any time during pregnancy, birth and for up to six weeks postnatally. Regular VTE risk assessment is an important part of maternity care, and midwives are required to assess the pregnant mother’s individual risk of VTE regularly during and immediately after pregnancy. VTE risk assessments should be carried out at the mother’s first (booking) appointment, and again at 28 weeks, as well as on admission to hospital at any other time during the pregnancy. A further assessment of the mother’s risk of venous thromboembolism should take place after the birth and on any postnatal readmissions to hospital. 

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What kind of medical negligence leads to VTE injury claims?

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) injury medical negligence claims often involve:

  • failure to carry out a proper assessment of the patient’s risk for VTE;
  • failing to carry out a full examination or consider the patient’s full medical history;
  • failing to recognise or understand the significance of the signs, symptoms and complications of VTE;
  • delayed or incorrect diagnosis of VTE (such as DVT or PE);
  • failing to take steps to reduce the patient’s risk of VTE;
  • delayed referral of the patient to hospital;
  • delayed or incorrect treatment of VTE;
  • medication errors (such as dosage errors);
  • delays and errors in ordering, performing, interpreting and reporting tests, scans and x-rays;
  • monitoring errors;
  • surgical and post-operative errors;
  • errors in safety netting and advice;
  • failing to follow national guidance;
  • failing to obtain informed consent for invasive procedures;
  • discharge and follow up failures.

Claims for VTE negligence can arise from negligent errors by one or more of the following:

Our personal injury team can help clients with VTE (such as pulmonary embolism) claims arising from trauma or fractures caused by workplace, road or other accidents.

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Meet your specialist team

Our specialist Venous thromboembolism (VTE) compensation claims team are considered leaders in the field and have a significant amount of expertise.
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Susan Brown


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Julie Marsh


Richard Money-Kyrle headshot

Richard Money-Kyrle


Sita Soni headshot

Sita Soni

Senior Associate - solicitor

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Vanessa Wand

Senior associate - solicitor

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Tara Byrne

Associate - Solicitor

Rachel Makore headshot

Rachel Makore

Associate - solicitor

Alpa Rana headshot

Alpa Rana

Associate - solicitor

Fran Rothwell

Fran Rothwell

Associate solicitor

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Ben Ireland


Alice Carley headshot

Alice Carley


Audrey Elmore headshot

Audrey Elmore

Medical records coordinator

Nicky Melville headshot

Nicky Melville

Professional support assistant

Susan Brown photo
Julie Marsh headshot
Richard Money-Kyrle headshot
Sita Soni headshot
Vanessa Wand photo
Tara Byrne photo
Rachel Makore headshot
Alpa Rana headshot
Fran Rothwell
Ben Ireland headshot
Alice Carley headshot
Audrey Elmore headshot
Nicky Melville headshot

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