Top 10 Most Common Medical Negligence Cases

Ian Lewis[1]

Ian Lewis

Money Savings Advice Top 10 most common medical negligence cases

Medical negligence cases are often difficult to prove, at least beyond all reasonable doubt. In some cases, the courts may rule shared negligence/liability leading to a reduced compensation claim.

However, there are numerous medical negligence cases which appear time and time again, often leading to successful prosecutions. We will now take a look at the top 10 most common medical negligence cases.

While it is fair to say there has been great progress with regards to medical treatment and patient protection, there are still many instances of medical negligence. These could be for a number of reasons including fatigue, inexperience, incomplete patient records and lack of access to appropriate equipment.

We will now take a look at some of the more common medical negligence cases and the chances of proving negligence.

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Medical Misdiagnosis

Unfortunately, misdiagnosis of a particular condition can, in many cases lead to life-threatening scenarios. Therefore it is important that medical practitioners carry out thorough examinations and scans where appropriate.

Some of the more common medical misdiagnosis include:-

  • Missed diagnosis
  • Wrong diagnosis
  • Late diagnosis

There have been occasions where the above issues have led to a reduced timeframe of treatment and in some cases a terminal diagnosis.

Surgical Negligence

Many people will be surprised to read about some of the more common surgical negligence issues which include:-

  • Nerve/organ damage
  • Equipment/foreign objects left inside a patient’s body
  • Operating on the wrong limb

While some surgical procedures do carry an enhanced degree of risk which the patient should be made aware of, we have seen instances of negligence in more commonplace surgeries.

For example, it is common knowledge that those in the operating theatre are obliged to count the equipment used and the equipment returned. So how are foreign bodies left inside a patient? Is it difficult to come to any conclusion other than negligence?

Pregnancy/Gynaecological Injuries

The system in the UK for pregnant women is extremely detailed and involves a variety of in-depth examinations/scans. The same can be said for gynaecological treatment which may involve testing for cancer and other life-threatening conditions.

Between these two treatments, we often see a number of common issues which include:-

  • Lack of oxygen during childbirth
  • Misdiagnosis of cancer
  • Injuries received during surgery impacting everyday life
  • Misdiagnosis of cerebral palsy and other conditions
  • Internal bleeding
  • Botched hysterectomy

These are just some of the common compensation claims relating to pregnancy/gynaecological treatment. In some cases, precancerous cells have been missed during smear tests which can very often progress into full-blown cervical cancer.

Cancer Treatment

It is fair to say that cancer treatment in the UK has improved dramatically over the last 20 years or so. The ability to catch cancer at a relatively early stage can have a huge impact on survival rates. However, due to a mixture of procedural issues and human error, over the last few years, we have seen instances where cancer tests have been incorrectly reported to patients.

In some cases, this has resulted in individuals undertaking difficult treatment which they didn’t require. There have also been cases where individuals have been given the all-clear when, in fact, there were already precancerous or cancerous cells in their body.

The NHS has paid out hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation in recent years for misreported cancer tests and the impact on the patient’s life.

Infection as a Consequence of Poor Care

There is no doubt that the pressure on those working in the NHS has increased dramatically in recent years. There are constant reports of funding issues, lack of equipment and lack of staff.

As a consequence, it will be no surprise to learn that hospital infections as a consequence of poor care have been rising. This involves a number of issues such as:-

  • Unsterilized equipment
  • Sepsis
  • Poor hygiene procedures
  • Failure to replace soiled dressings
  • Hospital infections such as MRSA

On the whole hospitals and medical practitioners are extremely vigilant when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness. However, you should not expect to receive medical treatment and upon discharge, find that you have developed an unconnected infection.

Cosmetic Surgery Negligence Claims

Until recently, the cosmetic surgery industry had relatively light touch regulations which often led to serious medical complications and in some cases death. Thankfully, the UK authorities have now taken control of the industry and placed upon participants various legal obligations. These include:-

  • Holding the appropriate qualifications
  • Training staff
  • Updating equipment
  • Strong hygiene procedures
  • Spotlessly clean working environment
  • Managing patient expectations

There’s no doubt that regulatory changes have had a huge impact on the number of cosmetic surgery negligence claims. However, this has been offset to a certain extent by the ever-increasing number of cosmetic surgery procedures undertaken each year.

If you received substandard treatment during your cosmetic surgery, then you may well have a claim for compensation.

Errors in Administering Medication

Whether in care home settings, hospital settings or in patient’s homes, errors in administering medication are a common issue when it comes to compensation. The potential consequences can be huge when patients:-

  • Are given the wrong medication
  • Receive medication that can worsen an existing condition
  • Take an allergic reaction to incorrect medication
  • Receive too much medication

While there are various reasons, this may happen, such as incomplete records, exhaustion and staff shortages, to name but a few, it is very difficult to defend claims of negligence in these particular scenarios.

Issues in Accident and Emergency Departments

You only need to visit your local A&E department to see how busy they are on Saturday evening, let alone through the week. It can often be mayhem with doctors, nurses and assistants stretched to the limit. It is no surprise that errors occur, and claims of negligence are pursued.

A large number of claims tend to involve:-

  • Incomplete examinations with simple symptoms missed and injuries/illness going undiagnosed
  • Failure to administer follow-up care in the event that a patient requires additional assistance
  • Misinterpretation of test results, x-rays and scans can lead to missed opportunities to treat illness/injuries

On the flip side of the coin, many visitors to A&E have subsequently been diagnosed with potentially life-threatening conditions which may have gone unnoticed. However, those visiting A&E departments should expect a high standard of treatment and after-care.

Dental Negligence

The majority of dental negligence claims tend to revolve around a small number of issues such as:-

  • Misdiagnosis of an abscess
  • Inappropriate treatment such as teeth extractions
  • Facial nerve damage
  • Substandard cosmetic dentistry

These are just a few of the examples of dental negligence that have not only an impact on the individual’s physical health but also their mental well-being. When pursuing compensation, physical/mental injuries are treated the same in court these days.

Nursing Home Care

Nursing homes have been in the news of late with regards to the coronavirus pandemic and the threat this poses to elderly patients. The fact that all nursing homes will receive regular visits from the regulator offers a degree of support.

However, there are still numerous negligence/compensation claims making their way through the courts. These claims tend to include a number of the following issues:-

  • Mistreatment of residents by certain staff members
  • Lack of resident movement to avoid pressure sores
  • Misdiagnosis/non-diagnosis of various medical conditions
  • Incomplete patient records
  • Misadministration of medication
  • Substandard medical treatment

In recent years there have been a number of investigations into conditions across the UK nursing home sector. While many of the issues raised have been addressed, it is taking time to root out substandard treatment, inexperienced staff and inappropriate activity. Therefore, it is not really surprising to learn that nursing home care is often in the news.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Medical Negligence Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Medical Negligence Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for the negligence they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis is one of our specialist financial writers. Ian has over 15 years of financial writing experience, having worked for some of the largest financial publications in the UK covering topics from mortgages, equity release, loans and financial claims, to name a few.

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