It has been estimated that around 13 million people visit either an NHS accident and emergency or casualty department every year in the United Kingdom. While the vast majority of the people who visit NHS A&E receive excellent service from doctors and nurses, who are often working under difficult conditions, medical negligence does sometimes occur.
Common Medical Negligence Claims in A&E
The main types of accident and emergency NHS medical negligence claims are:
• Inadequate cleaning of wounds or foreign bodies missed in wounds
• Missed fractures due to scans not being taken or being interpreted incorrectly – which is the most common type of medical negligence claim relating to A&E
• Late or inaccurate diagnosis
• Missed heart attack
• Missed sub-dural haematoma
Often, A&E negligence claims arise due to insufficient notes being taken leading to a fracture being missed or condition being misdiagnosed. Sometimes during shift changes in hospitals, there may be a lack of proper communication between shifts about individual patients, as a result of which the new staff may be unaware of important issues relating to the care of patients.
Proving medical negligence
A&E medical negligence claims can often be complicated, especially as it isn’t always clear when an act of negligence has taken place. You can’t make a negligence claim if you were simply unhappy with the customer service you received, for example. You will need strong proof that the medical staff were actually negligent in treating you – or not treating you – and that you suffered physical harm as a result.
There are also genuine reasons why a nurse or doctor might have missed something wrong with you, which is why it is so important for you to seek advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor if you think you might have a claim. They will be able to review your case and, if necessary, seek expert independent medical advice to see whether you have a claim.
A&E staff do a valuable job and, most of the time, they do it extremely well. If you have experienced problems in casualty, however, you shouldn’t suffer in silence, so speak to an experienced medical negligence lawyer about your case.
NHS Medical Negligence Claims – don’t delay
If you think that you have been the victim of medical negligence in an NHS accident and emergency unit, you will need to make your claim within 3 years of becoming aware of your potential claim. This means it’s important that you seek the right legal advice as soon as possible to find out more about the issue.
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