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What are the Most Common Clinical Negligence Cases?
What are the Most Common Clinical Negligence Cases?

20 Apr 2022

What are the Most Common Clinical Negligence Cases?

Clinical negligence is defined as a doctor or other medical professional breaching their duty of care to a patient. There are hundreds of types of clinical negligence cases including failure to diagnose a condition, failure to act on abnormal test results, equipment malfunctions, and injuries sustained during surgery. No two clinical negligence cases are the same, but some causes of clinical negligence are more common than others.

 

We’ve taken a closer look at some of the more frequent types of cases that law firms deal with.

 

Failure or Delay in Treatment

A failure or delay in treatment generally leads to a patient’s condition getting worse which can result in additional treatment or rehabilitation being necessary. It can also cause irreversible damage in the case of an advancing condition, or worse. During the COVID pandemic, we saw essential services for cancer treatment being hugely disrupted. Between March 1st 2020 and April 18th 2020, the UK saw a decrease of over 80% in referrals for suspected cancer. The British Medical Journal predicted that cancer-related deaths would rise at least 20% as a result of the pandemic.

 

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infections can be deadly if they aren’t treated correctly. Infection control and the responsible use of antibiotics are key to treating an infection and preventing it from spreading to other people. In 2019, the BBC reported a huge spike in deaths from drug-resistant infections. Due to the overuse of antibiotics in recent years for minor or ‘trivial’ infections, some bacteria are becoming resistant to the drugs we’ve relied so heavily on in the past.

 

Bacterial Infection clinical negligence cases usually surround poor hygiene within a healthcare facility such as a hospital or care home, or failure to diagnose and treat an infection. The BBC recently reported on a couple who tragically lost their newborn baby to an infection called Group B Strep. The parents had attempted to seek help from their midwifery team several times but kept being told ‘not to worry.’ Their little girl died at 31 hours old.

 

Birth Defects

Injuries sustained during birth can have long term or even lifelong effects on an individual. Cerebral palsy can occur if a baby’s brain is damaged during labour and is a lifelong condition that includes symptoms such as difficulty walking, weak limbs, problems swallowing and speaking, and learning disabilities.

 

Other birth defects can arise from maternal infection being passed onto the baby, lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain, injuries during a c-section, or spinal cord damage.

 

Cross Infection

Cross infection is defined as ‘the transfer of an infection’ and can happen easily in healthcare settings if proper infection control isn’t in place. Medical staff going from one room to another can easily transfer an infection between patients if the correct precautions aren’t taken. The effects of an infection on one patient may not be life threatening, but to another individual with a weakened immune system or who is undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy can be deadly.

 

Delay In Performing Operation

As with the failure or delay in treatment, delaying an operation can lead a condition or injury to worsen. The NHS is now facing a slew of clinical negligence cases due to increased waiting times for surgery and treatment that was made worse but services being shut down during the COVID pandemic. “Given that 40% of clinical negligence claims are brought because of delays in diagnosis or treatment, there is a risk that longer waiting times may lead to an increasing number of future claims,” a report stated. "For many people, longer waits result in inconvenience and the discomfort associated with living with a medical condition. But for others their condition may deteriorate and a longer wait for treatment may cause them harm.”

 

Speed Medical can assist with all types of clinical negligence cases. Our panel of experts will provide the highest quality medical reporting to help determine if negligence has occurred to allow your client to take the next steps on their legal journey. We can also facilitate rehabilitation appointments and investigation and diagnostic services where necessary.

Clinical negligence is defined as a doctor or other medical professional breaching their duty of care to a patient. There are hundreds of types of clinical negligence cases including failure to diagnose a condition, failure to act on abnormal test results, equipment malfunctions, and injuries sustained during surgery. No two clinical negligence cases are the same, but some causes of clinical negligence are more common than others.

 

We’ve taken a closer look at some of the more frequent types of cases that law firms deal with.

 

Failure or Delay in Treatment

A failure or delay in treatment generally leads to a patient’s condition getting worse which can result in additional treatment or rehabilitation being necessary. It can also cause irreversible damage in the case of an advancing condition, or worse. During the COVID pandemic, we saw essential services for cancer treatment being hugely disrupted. Between March 1st 2020 and April 18th 2020, the UK saw a decrease of over 80% in referrals for suspected cancer. The British Medical Journal predicted that cancer-related deaths would rise at least 20% as a result of the pandemic.

 

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infections can be deadly if they aren’t treated correctly. Infection control and the responsible use of antibiotics are key to treating an infection and preventing it from spreading to other people. In 2019, the BBC reported a huge spike in deaths from drug-resistant infections. Due to the overuse of antibiotics in recent years for minor or ‘trivial’ infections, some bacteria are becoming resistant to the drugs we’ve relied so heavily on in the past.

 

Bacterial Infection clinical negligence cases usually surround poor hygiene within a healthcare facility such as a hospital or care home, or failure to diagnose and treat an infection. The BBC recently reported on a couple who tragically lost their newborn baby to an infection called Group B Strep. The parents had attempted to seek help from their midwifery team several times but kept being told ‘not to worry.’ Their little girl died at 31 hours old.

 

Birth Defects

Injuries sustained during birth can have long term or even lifelong effects on an individual. Cerebral palsy can occur if a baby’s brain is damaged during labour and is a lifelong condition that includes symptoms such as difficulty walking, weak limbs, problems swallowing and speaking, and learning disabilities.

 

Other birth defects can arise from maternal infection being passed onto the baby, lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain, injuries during a c-section, or spinal cord damage.

 

Cross Infection

Cross infection is defined as ‘the transfer of an infection’ and can happen easily in healthcare settings if proper infection control isn’t in place. Medical staff going from one room to another can easily transfer an infection between patients if the correct precautions aren’t taken. The effects of an infection on one patient may not be life threatening, but to another individual with a weakened immune system or who is undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy can be deadly.

 

Delay In Performing Operation

As with the failure or delay in treatment, delaying an operation can lead a condition or injury to worsen. The NHS is now facing a slew of clinical negligence cases due to increased waiting times for surgery and treatment that was made worse but services being shut down during the COVID pandemic. “Given that 40% of clinical negligence claims are brought because of delays in diagnosis or treatment, there is a risk that longer waiting times may lead to an increasing number of future claims,” a report stated. "For many people, longer waits result in inconvenience and the discomfort associated with living with a medical condition. But for others their condition may deteriorate and a longer wait for treatment may cause them harm.”

 

Speed Medical can assist with all types of clinical negligence cases. Our panel of experts will provide the highest quality medical reporting to help determine if negligence has occurred to allow your client to take the next steps on their legal journey. We can also facilitate rehabilitation appointments and investigation and diagnostic services where necessary.

 


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