Medical negligence is the breach of legal obligation on the part of health professionals to care for their patients, causing physical or mental harm in the process. There are different types of negligence, ranging from wrong diagnosis and medical advice to critical surgical errors. Accordingly, there are different kinds of claims that can be filed to compensate for each type of negligence.
Let’s take a look at some of the common types of such claims.
Failing to diagnose a medical condition correctly can prove costly in some cases where timely treatments are mandatory. The medical condition either goes totally unnoticed or is mistaken for another one. So the general practitioner (GP) fails to treat the condition or prescribes wrong treatment, and either type of negligence is likely to harm the patient.
Misdiagnosis definitely results in prescription of wrong medications. Prescription errors also include wrong dosage and more importantly a wrong combination of drugs or medications with ingredients that the patient is allergic to. When not treated for the right complaint with the right medication in correct dosages, a whole lot of health issues including depression and brain damage are likely to surface.
Any injuries during pregnancy, labour and childbirth experienced because of medical neglect qualify for negligence claims. The health condition of the mother and foetus during gestation need careful monitoring and parents need to be informed in case of any observable disabilities. Some injuries during labour and after birthing are avoidable, but they qualify for claims if not done so. Failed sterilisations or abortions resulting in unwanted or disable babies too are typical cases of medical negligence claims.
Surgery is often the last resort to treat a range of health issues – both minor and major – and a mistake at this stage of the treatment is sure to have significant consequences, causing great inconvenience and mental stress to both patients and their families. Surgical errors include:
• An inappropriate surgery
• Surgery at the wrong location or part
• Healthy body parts/ organs damaged
• Wounds not completely or strongly sealed
• Infections and related complications
• Foreign objects accidentally left within the body
• Cosmetic surgeries gone wrong
Surgical negligence claims, however, are strongly contested and need solid proof to receive compensations.
Incomplete Medical Advice
It is possible to slap a medical negligence case on a medical practitioner for not warning patients of risks involved in specific treatment plan or surgery or not offering advice on alternative options that can prove beneficial. Any harm resulting from opting for treatment without being made fully aware of the risks qualifies for compensation.
Accident and Emergencies
One of the most crowded areas in a hospital, the A&E department is always under pressure to deliver quality care in a speedy manner. But sometimes, it may not be able to devote sufficient time to each and every case. There are more chances for slip-ups to occur and these may prove quite fatal when case of internal bleeding or similar life-threatening conditions go unnoticed. Failure to interpret X-rays, detect and treat fractures also makes an ideal case for a claim.
Yes, medical negligence claims can be filed if pressure sores that are not detected and treated on time aggravate an existing medical condition or impair movement. Bed sores can lead to several complications such as breaking skin and ulcers, especially if the patient is bed-ridden.