An Arlington woman has been awarded a $300,000 settlement from the federal government for her husband's death in 1980.

Medical records showed that Charles Carroll, 53, had gone to the Patuxent (Md.) Naval Hospital three days in a row, complaining of severe chest pains, nausea and fainting, but was admitted only after he had fainted in a waiting room on his third visit.

Carroll, who served 22 years in the Navy, first appeared at the hospital on April 16, 1980, perspiring and complaining of chest pains, hospital records showed. He was advised that he had an enlarged heart, and was told to return two days later.

Carroll came back the following day when he experienced further problems, but still was told to return a day later, the hospital records showed.

The next day, Carroll fainted in the waiting room, was examined and was told that he had an enlarged liver and a condition of dehydration. He was given fluids and glucose and was transferred to Malcolm Grow Hospital at Andrews Air Force Base, the records showed. He died there two hours later.

An autopsy showed Carroll had suffered from cardiac tamponade, a condition in which quantities of fluid exert pressure on the heart, but the post mortem disclosed no evidence of heart disease.