Mother-Of-Three Died Following Hospital Discharge After They Failed To Carry Out An Appropriate Risk Assessment

Specialist Medical Negligence Lawyers Instructed To Investigate


The heartbroken family of a woman who died from a pulmonary embolism after medical staff did not adequately assess the risk of a blood clot and failed to recognise the significance of, and act upon, an abnormal blood test result are speaking out for the first time to demand lessons are learnt by NHS staff.

Maureen Broadbent, from Leeds underwent a right knee replacement operation at Chapel Allerton Hospital in Leeds on 4th April last year. The operation was a success but just a couple of months after the surgery; she began to experience heart palpitations and shortness of breath.  

The 59-year-old went to Leeds General Infirmary and was admitted overnight to undergo further tests. The following day, medical staff said her test results were normal and attributed her symptoms to pain and stress after her knee surgery.  She was discharged home but sadly died, two days after leaving the hospital, on 9th June 2013.

Maureen’s devastated family instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her death and the quality of care provided by medical staff at Leeds General Infirmary.

At an inquest into her death at Wakefield Coroner’s Court, HM Coroner David Hinchliffe recorded a narrative verdict saying: “A risk assessment document for venous thromboembolism was inadequately completed” and the importance of an abnormal blood test result was not recognised. He concluded that this contributed to staff not administering medication to prevent blood clots and failing to subsequently diagnose and treat pulmonary embolism. As result, Mrs Broadbent was discharged when she should have remained in hospital, under prophylactic treatment. 

Expert Opinion
Maureen’s entire family are understandably very distressed by their loss and have asked us to investigate whether Maureen’s death could have been avoided if appropriate and timely treatment had been provided.

“We would like to thank the Coroner for taking the time to investigate the circumstances surrounding Maureen’s death. We will continue to investigate the processes and procedures used at the hospital as Maureen’s family are keen to ensure that lessons are learnt so that no other families have to lose their loved ones in such tragic circumstances.”
Katie Warner, Solicitor
Commenting after the inquest, Maureen’s daughter, Michelle Pickup, said: “When Mum died, we just couldn’t believe it. She had been discharged from hospital only two days before and we thought she must have been ok because the doctors discharged her. We thought there was nothing to worry about.
“Our mum is irreplaceable; to say her death came as a shock doesn’t even come close. It has totally devastated our family, and to think that she could be with us today if she’d been given the proper medical care makes it even more difficult to cope with.

“Opportunities were missed and we want assurances from the hospital that they have learnt from what happened.  We also want to ensure that any lessons are shared across the NHS so that no other families have to suffer like ours has.”