This can be particularly distressing, either if you’ve been told you have a condition which it is then found you do not have, or, perhaps more worryingly, being erroneously given the all-clear and later finding out that you have a condition which has got progressively worse and could have been cured or treated earlier. Cancer misdiagnosis is particularly worrying and can be life-threatening. This particular form of medical misdiagnosis one of the most common forms of medical negligence.
Birth injuries or defects
Giving birth is complicated and full of risks, but medical negligence can increase these risks and result in birth defects or injuries to the mother or baby through the incorrect administering of drugs or through procedural errors causing damage or injury to the baby. In these cases, the negligence may cause injuries or damage which will last for the lifetime of the child, potentially being huge in terms of the financial implications. In terms of the average financial compensation, these cases are particularly prominent.
Nurses have a duty of care to ensure that their patients are comfortable and well looked after, and recent investigations into Staffordshire Hospital, for example, found that nurses were leaving patients without adequate food and water, leaving them to have to drink from flower vases in order to stop themselves dehydrating. Most people would agree that this sort of negligence is shocking and unacceptable, and low staffing levels and budget cuts in the NHS have meant that nursing negligence is, unfortunately, on the rise.
Failure in sterilisation or abortion
In cases where a person’s sterilisation or an abortion has failed, a child can be born unexpectedly whereas otherwise it would not have been expected or desired. In this case, the financial implications for the parents can be huge and this is taken into account when medical negligence is gauged and compensation levels are decided. It is for this reason that compensation payouts for the negligence involved in a failed sterilisation casetend to be quite high.
General NHS negligence
The NHS, as a whole, tends to operate as a slick and well-oiled machine. However, things can go seriously wrong. In the case, for example, that following a stroke or heart attack an ambulance takes an unreasonable amount of time to reach you and you later suffer brain damage or other organ damage due to a lack of oxygen, you may be able to seek a claim for medical negligence against the NHS as a whole or a part of it, such as the ambulance service.
This covers a whole raft of possibilities, including anything from inadequate pain relief during surgery to having the wrong organ removed by a surgeon. As you might imagine, the levels of compensation involved tend to be commensurate with the seriousness of the situation and the potential ramifications in terms of long-term suffering and loss of earnings.
If you suspect that you might have suffered from negligence at the hands of a medical professional, you should seek the advice of a professional medical negligence solicitor, who will be able to look at your case independently and advise as to whether or not the NHS might have a case to answer. If they do, it is quite possible that you might be due financial compensation.
Don’t delay getting specialist legal advice
You need to act quickly, though, as many medical negligence cases have a strict time limit, so you should speak to a specialist solicitor at your earliest convenience.
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