Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver which occurs after a period of long-term, continuous liver damage. Once damaged by cirrhosis, the liver can’t repair itself and may stop functioning altogether, leading to liver failure, which can be fatal. Scar tissue gradually replaces the liver’s healthy tissue and the condition usually progresses over a number of years. In the UK, around 4,000 people die from cirrhosis every year. Whilst there are few symptoms in the early stages of the condition, you may experience loss of appetite, itchy skin and nausea as the condition progresses, and in the later stages symptoms can include vomiting blood, jaundice (yellowing eyes and skin), shortness of breath and swelling in the legs and abdomen. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should see your GP:
- Shortness of breath
- Vomiting blood
- Fever and shivering
Whilst there is no treatment for cirrhosis, it can be managed and its progression slowed. Your GP will normally carry out a physical exam and if they suspect cirrhosis they may also run scans, blood tests and possibly an endoscopy or liver biopsy to check for cirrhosis.
Have you been left unable to work after undiagnosed cirrhosis?
Failure to diagnose cirrhosis could have serious consequences. The condition can be managed and its progression slowed with medication, so failing to diagnose a patient with cirrhosis could mean the liver continues to create scar tissue, eventually leading to liver failure and even death. You may need a liver transplant, which could have been avoided had a timely diagnosis been made and treatment provided. This could mean time off work and a prolonged period of illness. If you have suffered loss of earnings or your quality of life has been affected by failure to diagnose cirrhosis, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
Claiming compensation for medical negligence
Failure to diagnose an illness or condition constitutes medical negligence, and Accident Advice Helpline can help you to determine whether there is evidence of negligence in your particular case. If there is, we can help you to claim the compensation you deserve for your suffering. All our professional personal injury lawyers work on a 100% no win, no fee* basis, so there are no expensive legal fees to worry about upfront. Simply call our freephone helpline today (we’re open 24/7) and speak to a member of our experienced team for confidential, no-obligation advice on your medical negligence claim.
Date Published: August 14, 2014
Author: David Brown