The NHS caters to the medical care needs of around one million people every 36 hours. In 2017 alone, the NHS treated over 8.5 million people. Private hospitals are not left out, as they treat hundreds of thousands of patients yearly.
When you seek medical care in any of these institutions, you expect to receive the best possible treatment. Although this is usually the case, and the NHS is rated as one of the best healthcare systems in terms of safe and effective care, mistakes due to medical negligence still happen.
When avoidable errors occur and cause you injury which impact the quality of your life, we believe you should get the needed help and support. This article discusses five of the most common medical negligence claims in detail. Here, you will find out if your healthcare provider or hospital is liable, and the steps you can take to make claims for medical malpractice.
The 5 Most Common Medical Negligence Claims:-
1. Medical Misdiagnosis
Misdiagnosis refers to when a medical professional gives an incorrect diagnosis or fails to give a diagnosis at all. This can cause the patient pain and suffering and, in some cases, can be life-threatening.
The most common misdiagnosed conditions are:-
Commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions tend to manifest symptoms that are difficult to identify or are mistaken for something else. Misdiagnosis for any of these illnesses can be devastating and you may be entitled to compensation.
If you have been a victim of misdiagnosis while undertaking treatment at the NHS, it is important that you seek advice from NHS solicitors. You will usually have to start a claim within three years of the incidence or when you became aware of your misdiagnosis. Seeking the support of medical negligence solicitors as soon as possible will ensure the claim can be made while details of the misdiagnosis you suffered are still fresh in your mind.
2. Surgical Negligence
The vast majority of operations performed by medical professionals in the UK are successful. However, when mistakes happen, they can leave you with unnecessary injury.
Surgical Negligence happens when surgeons or other healthcare providers make avoidable errors during your operation, causing you further injuries or worsening your condition. Some types of surgical negligence are referred to as “Never events”. The Government considers never events very serious mistakes that should never happen.
Common types of surgical negligence include:-
- Performing a wrong operation or operating on a wrong body part
- Leaving foreign objects in the body
- Infection due to poor hygiene
- Nerve damage or injury to an organ(s)
- Failing to inform a patient about the risks of a surgical procedure or determine the patient’s suitability for the operation
- Injected too little or too much anaesthetic
- Scarring or disfigurement caused by cosmetic surgery
If a surgeon or other medical professional makes mistakes during your operation and this has caused you injury, you may be able to make a claim against NHS or the healthcare provider. Medical Negligence solicitors can help you prove that your surgeon failed to meet the expected standards, and that you have suffered an injury as a result. You may also be able to make a claim on behalf of a loved one who cannot make an independent claim (a child under 18 or someone who is mentally disabled).
3. Prescription and Medication Errors
Every day, medical professionals in the UK write and dispense hundreds of thousands of prescriptions and, while the vast majority of them are correctly processed, mistakes can happen.
Healthcare professionals have a duty of care to ensure that they prescribe the right medication and dosage, and that it does not interfere with the patient’s pre-existing health condition. Wrong medication or incorrect dosage can have extreme consequences, including allergic reaction, psychological problems, digestive issues, brain damage and, in some cases, death.
Common prescription or medication errors include:-
- Wrong prescription or dispensation
- Medication that a patient is allergic to
- Incorrect dosage amount or period
- Medications that are wrongly prescribed together
If you have suffered an illness or injury as a result of medication or prescription errors on the part of a negligent medical professional, you may be entitled to a medical claim. Get in touch with medical negligence solicitors as soon as you learn about the cause of your injury. They will evaluate your medical negligence case, help put your medical records together, ascertain the severity of the error and provide support and advice through the legal process.
4. Negligent Medical Advice
As far as medical practice is concerned, healthcare providers are required to advise their patients of the risks of a procedure, letting them know of any available alternatives. This will help the patient make informed decisions as to whether or not they want to continue with the medical procedure. If a medical professional fails to do this and something goes wrong, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
5. Pregnancy and Birth Injuries
Hundreds of babies are born every day in the UK. In 2012, there were 694,241 live births in England. Majority of these births are successful and without any issues. However, things can go wrong even for some apparently straightforward natural births. For instance, a midwife may fail to monitor the condition of mother and baby properly. In any case, pregnancy and birth injuries can be emotionally and physically devastating for mother and baby, and loved ones alike. If a doctor, midwife or gynaecologist mishandles the pregnancy and birth process, there could be life-changing consequences.
Examples of pregnancy and birth injuries that occur as a result of medical negligence include:-
- Midwifery and obstetrics negligence
- Fertility/IVF negligence
- Misdiagnosed miscarriage
- Stillbirth and neonatal negligence
- Mismanaged complications during pregnancy
- Failed sterilization
- Erb’s palsy
- Failure to diagnose and treat a maternal infection
- Injury to infant during and/or after birth
- Injury to mother after birth
- Retained products of conception (RPOC)
At Medical Negligence Direct, we understand how upsetting pregnancy and birth injuries can be for you and your loved ones. If you or your child have suffered pregnancy/birth injury due to medical negligence by a healthcare provider, we can help you gain the financial and emotional support you need to navigate through this difficult time.
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What Can You Do Now?
You now know the most common types of medical or clinical negligence claims in the UK. If you suspect you have suffered personal injury as a result of medical negligence, then you have a three-year time limit to bring your claim. This three-year period runs from the date the negligence occurred or the date you first became aware that your injury was caused by medical negligence.
However, there are some exceptions to this time limit. In cases where a child is involved, the time limit only starts when they turn 18 and expires on their 21st birthday.
How We Can Help
At Medical Negligence Direct, we believe that every victim of negligence deserves justice, no matter their financial capacity, which is why we work on No Win No Fee agreements or Conditional fee agreements.
As specialists in medical negligence, we know understand the complex legal path and can help you seek justice and secure the maximum compensation you deserve. We have likely pursued a claim similar to yours; get in touch with us today on 0800 644 4240 and our friendly solicitors will be happy to discuss with you and chart a way forward.