Clinical negligence claims are on the rise in the UK even though healthcare professionals do their best to treat patients in the best possible way. There are acceptable levels of care set in place and which are generally met but there are times when things go wrong. If you have suffered an injury whilst receiving medical treatment or a medical professional did not listen to your health concerns and as a consequence you became more seriously ill, you may have grounds to claim damages. Below are 5 recent cases of clinical negligence claims where people received compensation for the injuries they suffered as a direct result of medical care they did or did not receive.
Failure to make a correct diagnosis or take an x-ray could result in a clinical negligence claim
1 Baby Suffers Cerebral Palsy as a Result of Poor Maternity Care
A patient now suffers from severe disabilities because she developed cerebral palsy during childbirth. The baby was starved of oxygen which was accepted as being due to negligence on the part of the maternity staff in attendance. This caused the baby to suffer permanent brain damage which ultimately led to cerebral palsy. When the negligence claim case was lodged against the hospital trust, they admitted negligence and as a result, the family received a multi-million pound compensation settlement.
2 Anaesthetic blunders Causes Serious Nerve damage to a Patient
A sixty year old man who led an active lifestyle suffered severe nerve damage to his hand as a result of anaesthetic errors during routine surgery. This left him with no feeling in his hand and unable to grip anything. The doctors reassured him the feeling would come back eventually but this was found to be untrue. The patient was then told the lack of feeling could have been as a result of something to do with the anaesthetist and he was referred to a neurologist. The man was told the lack of feeling was due to nerve damage and that he would need more surgery. However, this did not have the effect that was hoped and a negligence claim was made with the hospital trust admitting negligence offering a compensation of £61,000 to the man for his pain and suffering.
3 Grandfather Blinded Because of Poor Hospital Care
A catalogue of errors at a hospital left a grandfather blind. The man had suffered from a detached retina and went to A & E where he was given a quick check over by a nurse. He was told to come back when an eye clinic was due to be held. The following Monday, the man was seen in the eye clinic where a doctor assessed his symptoms and took blood tests. The doctor told the man they would inform him if they found anything to be wrong.
Two days later the man was told to get to the hospital as soon as possible but due to the fact the man was away in London he was unable to get there until the following morning. At no time did anyone tell the man that the longer he left being treated the bigger the risk of him losing his sight. The hospital admitted full responsibility for the fact the man had been sent home without having received a proper assessment of his condition and he was awarded £750,000 in compensation although this will never make up for the fact he lost his sight due to clinical negligence.
Mistakes happen in operating theatres
4 Mother Suffers Injury during Childbirth
A mother giving birth suffered a perforated bowel and peritonitis because medical staff failed to diagnose she was suffering from a condition known as Ogilvie’s Syndrome. The lady had to undergo an emergency caesarean section after which she suffered a post-operative complication due to Ogilvie’s Syndrome which is an obstruction in the bowel. The condition went unnoticed which resulted in a perforated bowel whereupon the lady contracted peritonitis and septicaemia.
She was rushed back to hospital and needed emergency surgery. The result of this blunder was the lady now has extensive scarring on her abdomen and she is psychologically scarred for life due to the fact she has reduced fertility. The hospital trust admitted negligence and the lady was received £100,000 in damages.
5 A Delay in Treating Caudia Equina Syndrome Causes Suffering & Pain
A 24 year old girl who had been suffering from intermittent back pain was told by her doctor there was nothing to worry about and prescribed pain killers. The intermittent pain in her back lasted eight months with numbness in both legs as well as a feeling of pins and needles in her feet getting worse all of the time. Eventually a 999 call was made but the medics attending her in the ambulance told her she was suffering from sciatica and told her she did not need to go to hospital.
The girl remained at home but the numbness increased reaching her perineal area whereupon a phone call to the doctor was made. He told the girl to get to A & E as soon as possible. Despite her notes being “red flagged” she still had to wait to be seen once she was in A & E. The hospital trust admitted negligence and that if the girl had been correctly diagnosed and treated straight away, she would not have to suffer the pain she does today and as a result she received £250,000 in compensation.
If you believe you have suffered under the care of a healthcare professional, you need to seek professional advice on whether or not you have grounds to lodge a clinical negligence claim against them or the medical establishment they work for. You need to know your rights and what is needed to prove a case to be justifiable. Once this is done, you may be entitled to damages that will cover your pain and suffering as well as any on-going treatments you may have to undergo as a result of clinical medical negligence.