Medical negligence is something that few patients like to think about before they go in for treatment, but which inevitably happens on a fairly regular basis. Medical professionals are only human, and mistakes do occasionally occur – even if any given patient’s likelihood of suffering from medical negligence is mercifully low, with claims falling over time as a proportion of treatment episodes.
Let’s take a look at some of the more common kinds of negligence, and how they manifest.
If a surgeon makes a mistake, then the result might be an unnecessary scar, injury, or worse. They might perform the wrong operation, or leave a foreign object inside the body after they close up, or they might create an infection because of improper hygiene.
Misdiagnosis is among the more common kind of medical negligence. If cancer, diabetes, or meningitis are misdiagnosed, then this might delay (or even prevent) the treatment of the real illness. In some cases, this can be catastrophic.
If you’re given the wrong medication, then the results can be disastrous – and in many cases worse than the illness you’re looking to get addressed. But incorrect medication isn’t the full scope of potential error in the pharmacy. If the wrong dosage is printed, or you’re given medication that you’re allergic to, then the practice will often be at fault. It’s incumbent on your doctor to ask about things like allergies before they make a prescription.
Pregnancy and Birth Injuries
Hundreds of babies are born every day in the UK, most of them without any issues at all. But sometimes, things can go wrong. The mother or the infant might suffer an injury, such as Erb’s Palsy, when the nerves in a baby’s neck are damaged during the birth. Where mistakes are made by midwives and gynaecologists, extreme emotional distress can result – and the consequences can often be life-changing.
There might be a viable negligence claim even in cases where the birth itself went flawlessly. If a vasectomy failed, or the baby was born with an injury that was expected, but which the parents weren’t informed of, then this might amount to negligence.
It’s essential that head injuries are given the appropriate treatment as soon as possible after they’ve occurred. With the right treatment and rehabilitation, patients might make a complete recovery. Without it, the damage can often be permanent, and the consequences for the patient in the long-term can be bleak.