Medical malpractice happens when a medical professional makes a mistake, and the patient suffers. Medical professionals have a duty of care and responsibility to make sure their patients receive accurate diagnosis and treatment. Medical malpractice can have devastating consequences to a patient’s condition and life.
The NHS cares for one million patients every 36 hours in the UK and has a staggering 100,000 unfilled staff positions in the service. Staffing and funding issues can lead to medical mistakes that have life-altering consequences for those involved. Medical errors are often an accident with no malicious intention behind them.
If you have experienced medical negligence, you may have the means to make a medical negligence claim. Here are the main types of medical negligence and the conditions commonly associated with them.
Medication is a common form of treatment for various conditions. However, the wrong dosage or medication can cause detrimental consequences. The medical professional may prescribe you a medication that you are allergic to or make a mistake during the prescription process.
Administration errors, such as a typo, can cause the doctor to misdiagnose a patient and prescribe the wrong medication. A nurse could also give medication intended for one patient to another.
Surgery is one of the most serious courses of treatment, and an incorrect or unnecessary procedure can have life-altering consequences. Non-sterile equipment, damaged organs and a slip in the procedure can cause irreparable damage to a patient’s body.
The most common example of surgical negligence is leaving a surgical instrument in a patient’s body – such as a sponge. Doctor’s may also operate on the wrong part of the patient’s body or use unsterilized equipment that leads to complications. Anesthesia errors also occur in surgery and can cause brain damage, death or the patient waking up mid-surgery.
A misdiagnosis can have a knock-on effect on the patient’s course of treatment. They may receive the wrong treatment plan and a delay in getting the right treatment. Or, a misdiagnosis may worsen the patient’s condition altogether, resulting in subsequent conditions. Misdiagnosis can lead to unnecessary surgery and prescribed medication, which can have devastating effects on the patient’s health. Diabetes, cancer, and strokes are common misdiagnosing conditions.
Birth injuries are less common in the UK, but they do still happen. Medical professionals, such as gynecologists and obstetricians involved in the birthing process, can cause harm to the babies they deliver. Malpractice can result in paralysis, nerve damage, developmental disorders, fractures, and cerebral palsy. Birth injuries can happen to both the baby and the mother if the doctor fails to provide the proper care. Cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, learning difficulties, and birth asphyxia can occur from an injury at birth.
Medical negligence can have detrimental consequences on the patient’s condition and should be avoided at all costs.