5 Common Types of Medical Negligence Claim
The NHS treats 1 million people every 36 hours and carried out nearly 10 million (9.920m) operations in 2014/2015 (an increase of 45% from a decade ago). The A&E departments saw over 20 million patients during the same period (up 25% from 10 years ago) and there were over 15 million total hospital admissions (up 31% from a decade earlier).
While the Commonwealth Fund rated the NHS the best healthcare system in terms of efficiency, effective care, safe care and patient-centred care in 2014 (when compared to healthcare systems of ten other countries), it’s inevitable when dealing with this number of patients that some complications will happen.
When avoidable errors occur which end up impacting a patient’s standard of life, we believe help and support should be provided.
This is when making a medical negligence claim for compensation can help.
In our article 7 Things You Need to Know About A Medical Negligence Claim we explained that Medical Negligence (also known as Clinical Negligence) refers to a breach of the legal duty of care owed to you by healthcare professionals, resulting in either physical or mental damage.
In the following weeks and months we’re going to look in turn at each of the “7 things”, and explore them in a bit more detail. To begin with we’re looking at the most common sort of medical negligence claims.
5 Common Medical Negligence Compensation Claims in the UK
There are many different types of medical negligence for which you can claim compensation.
Here’s our list of some of the more common types of personal injury claims for medical negligence:
1. Medical Misdiagnosis
Failing to diagnose a condition correctly can lead to unnecessary suffering. An article in the Daily Telegraph claimed that as many as one in six patients treated in NHS hospitals and GPs’ surgeries were misdiagnosed.
Medical misdiagnosis tends to fall into two main types:
- where a condition is completely missed and ends up going undiagnosed, and
- where an incorrect diagnosis is made.
Failure to provide treatment or providing incorrect treatment mean that both types of medical misdiagnosis carry potentially life-threatening risks.
2. Surgical Negligence
The vast majority of operations performed in the UK are extremely successful; however, occasionally mistakes are made.
Certain types of surgical negligence are labelled as “Never events”. These incidents are regarded by the Government as so serious that they should never happen, hence the name.
190 never events were recorded across the country from 1St April to 31st October 2015. These included: 79 incidents of surgery being performed on the wrong part of a patient’s body and 46 patients retaining a foreign object following surgery.
Common Types of Surgical Negligence include:
- The wrong operation being performed
- The wrong body part being operated on
- Foreign objects left in the body
- Organs being perforated
- Cosmetic surgery causing scarring and disfigurement
- Infection caused by poor hygiene
3. Prescription and Medication Errors
Every day, hundreds of thousands of prescriptions are written and dispensed, and while the majority of these are processed correctly errors can occur. Taking the wrong medication, or an incorrect dose of medication, can have serious consequences including brain damage, allergic reaction, digestive problems, psychological illness and in some cases even death.
Common Prescription or Medication Error Negligence Claims
- Wrong medication prescribed or dispensed.
- Incorrect dosage amount or period
- Medications prescribed together that shouldn’t be
- Medication prescribed that the patient is known to be allergic to.
4. Negligent Medical Advice
Medical professionals are required to advise you of the risks of a procedure and let you know of other alternatives that are available. This is so you can make an informed decision about whether or not you want the operation. If they fail to do this, and something goes wrong, then you may be entitled to make a medical negligence compensation claim.
5. Pregnancy and Birth Injuries
On average, just under 5 babies are born worldwide every second. In 2012 there were 694,241 live births in England alone. The majority of these births go without any problems; however when something does go wrong it can have devastating results.
Common Birth Injury Compensation Claims
“Birth injuries” include any injuries suffered by mother or baby.
- During pregnancy – Maternal Diabetes or Gestational Diabetes, Pre-Eclampsia, Uterine Rupture & Placental Abruption and Wrongful Birth Cases (where there is failed sterilisation or vasectomy, or if the parents were not warned that the child would have been born with a specific disability)
- During labour – Cerebral Palsy, Second or Third Degree Tears, Episiotomy, Erb’s Palsy, Brachial Plexus Injuries and Ventouse or Forceps Delivery
- After the birth – Congenital Hip Dysplasia
You and the law
If you suspect you have suffered personal injury due to medical negligence then you have 3 years in which to issue a claim at Court. The 3 year period runs from the date of the negligence, or from the date you first became aware you were injured as a result of the negligence.
There are some exceptions to the three year rule. Where children are involved for example, the time doesn’t start to run until they turn 18, so never assume it’s too late to bring a medical negligence claim.
Our specialist medical negligence solicitors may still be able to help even if it’s been more than 3 years.
How We Can Help With Your Medical Negligence Claim.
Here at Osborne Morris & Morgan we believe that you should be able to make your claim without worrying about expensive legal fees, which is why we work on a no win, no fee basis.
We’re nationally recognised as a leading Medical Negligence firm, having recovered more than £143 million in damages for Medical Negligence clients since 2001.
Our expertise in large-value claims has led to the development of specialised Court of Protection and Trust departments and ensures that expert recommendations for care, accommodation, equipment and therapy are actually put into practice.
If you feel you have a medical negligence claim, or are unsure and would like to talk to someone about your situation, please call us now on 01525 378177. We can help you see if you have a valid compensation claim, without any obligation to claim with us.