Delay in Diagnosis of Peripheral Artery Disease

Insights / / Bristol

In our last article we explained what vascular disease was and the different types of vascular disease that can occur. The most common type of vascular disease is Peripheral Artery Disease (or PAD).


Diagnosing PAD can be done in a number of ways and your doctor will normally carry out a physical examination, usually of your legs, in the first instance. Further tests can include blood tests to measure your cholesterol level; use of the Ankle-brachial index (ABI) which is a test used to compare the blood pressure in your ankle with the blood pressure in your arm; and ultrasound scan which can identify blocked or narrowed arteries and/or an angiography which uses a dye injection to allow your doctor to view blood flow through your arteries.


Once diagnosed, effective treatment advice can be given to help manage your symptoms. Whilst there is no cure for PAD symptoms can be reduced and a more positive prognosis provided which will reduce the risk of a more serious condition such as coronary heart disease, stroke and/or heart attack occurring.

Treatment will include advice about lifestyle changes such as exercise and healthy eating. In some cases medication will be prescribed to treat the underlying cause of the condition and/or to reduce the risk of developing other related conditions. In some cases surgery can be carried out to restore the flow of blood through the arteries

However, a failure to diagnose PAD can have serious, and sometimes fatal consequences, and so it is important for these conditions to be diagnosed at the earliest opportunity. Your treating practitioners must ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis at the earliest opportunity so that appropriate treatment can be administered to improve your quality of life and your prognosis.

In other circumstances, diagnosis may have been quick but the subsequent surgery was negligently performed which in itself can lead to more complications, symptoms and lifelong issues or fatality.

Metcalfes have a team who specialise in medical negligence work and we have successfully brought claims involving vascular disease. If you feel you have suffered a delay in diagnosis of a vascular disease, your condition has not been managed correctly or your surgery was negligently performed then here at Metcalfes we have a team who specialise in medical negligence work and can advise you as to whether you have a potential claim. 

Further Reading:

  1. Circulation Foundation
  2. NHS Choices - PAD

Website content note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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