Hospital Trust Admits Breach of Duty in Care for man who Died Following a Stroke

March 2022

The family of a man who died after he was negligently prescribed medication that increased his risk of suffering from a stroke have today pleaded for lessons to be learnt after the Trust responsible for his care admitted that it had failed in its duty of care.

Giovanni Ferrera, 74, from St Albans, was taking an anticoagulant medication (Apixaban) due to an atrial fibrillation - a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate.

However, he was taken off the medication in early 2016 after he experienced a stroke.

He was admitted to hospital for a heart operation in August 2016, but the discovery of a clot meant that that the operation could not be undertaken. He was again prescribed the blood thinning medication Apixaban, despite evidence to suggest that the tablets were linked to an increased risk of a stroke.

No further dates were scheduled for the operation to take place.

In July 2017 Mr Ferrera sadly passed away from a bleed on the brain caused by a stroke.

He leaves behind his wife Cristina and four grown up children, including his daughter Rosanna Cioffi.

Mr and Mrs Ferrera

Following his death, the family instructed law firm Simpson Millar to investigate the care that he had received at Hammersmith Hospital which is part of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

The Trust has since confirmed that there was a breach of care in the advice given relating to Mr Ferrera’s risk of having another stroke, and that the resumption of anticoagulation contributed to the deterioration of his condition.

Rosanna added: “knowing that there was a procedure that could potentially have saved my father’s life, but that it wasn’t available due to budget limitations is almost unbearable.

“Thankfully, in recent years the LAAO device has become more widely accessible, however, patients rely on the expertise of the consultants to prescribe this procedure over the oral medication in cases where it is unsafe.

“My message to anyone who finds themselves in a situation such as ours is to challenge what is being said. Ask questions, and for a second opinion if you feel it is needed. It could potentially save someone’s life.”

Medical negligence expert Dino Enahoro from Simpson Millar, who represented the family following Mr Ferrera’s death, added: “Mr Ferrera’s family are understandably still coming to terms with what has happened.

“While they have now received some of the answers to the many questions that they had about his care as a result of the legal action, they have chosen to speak out in a bid to ensure that lessons are learnt.

“Nothing can ever change what they have been through, but it is their hope that lessons are learnt so that others don’t suffer as they have.”

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