Medical professionals are among the most respected and high- held professionals all over the World, and this is primarily because their work entrusts them with the responsibility of saving lives. As with all fields of work, medical practices too call for certain reasonable standards, which are supposed to be abided by the practitioners. Doing anything that falls below this standard signify a malpractice, the consequences of which are certainly unfavourable for the ones, receiving the services. To put it simply, medical malpractice or what is better termed as medical negligence occurs when the doctors, nurses, or even the hospital authorities fail to adhere to the reasonable standard of care. Medical negligence is also referred to as a breach of the duty of care on part of the medical professionals. People falling victim to such negligence have dire outcomes to face and in an attempt to offer them with some relief from the situation, they are entitled to claim compensation and be assisted by the medical negligence solicitors.
Common Instances of Medical Malpractices
The field of medicine is a vast and varied one, as it also incorporates continuous changes and developments brought forth by innovations. Consequently, the kind of errors that occur or the instances of negligence are of different nature and a scrutiny of each of them will certainly necessitate a prolonged discussion. However, the primary causes behind clinical negligence along with the prominent mistakes that are usually committed by the doctors and nurses can be analyzed in an attempt to create awareness among those who trust the medical practitioners wholeheartedly and often fail to identify the acts of carelessness.
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
A vast majority of the medical negligence cases results from the failure on part of the specialists in identifying the disease and thereby, initiating the treatment of the same. A doctor usually sets up a list of probable diseases that he suspects. At times, he might fail to include the actual problem in this list, which is as careless an act as when he has diagnosed the exact problem but fails to carry out the required tests to investigate the acceptability of the diagnosis. The consequence of misdiagnosis, even a delay in the starting of the medical treatment can be dangerous. Failing to identify disastrous diseases like cancer at the right time can lead to a spread of the disease in various organs of one’s body, paving the way for painful and terrible circumstances.
Mistakes in prescribing the right dosage of the medicine to the patient cal affect the entire process of the medical treatment and pave the way for a lot of suffering by the victim. Medication errors come about in three ways, and these are the doctor writing the wrong medicine or the incorrect dosage on the prescription, the nurses failing to administer the dosage of the drugs and the faulty equipments like intravenous pumps malfunctioning, leading to an overdose of the medicine. For whatever consequences the victim faces due to wrongly prescribed medication, claims can be filed against the doctors as well as the nurses, and the medical negligence solicitors equip their clients with relevant knowledge in this regard.
Surgeries and operations occupy an important part of the medical treatment that one receives. Negligent acts by the doctors in the operating room transpires in the form of the operating the wrong body part, using unsterilized instruments while carrying out the surgery or leaving the surgical instruments in the body. Surgeries can be of different types depending on the part or the organ of the body, undergoing the operation. As such, the victims can file for eye surgery claims if the negligence took place at the time of a cataract operation. Falling short of ensuring proper postoperative care also leads to severe consequences and in this case, the claims are filed against the nurses and at times, the hospital authorities.
The results of the anaesthesia errors can be more disastrous than that of the surgical mistakes. An anaesthetist has a huge responsibility of administering the appropriate dose, failing to perform which leads to severe brain injuries and even, death of the patient. Giving an overdose of anaesthesia without studying the symptoms or the medical history of the patient adequately complicates the entire procedure and is therefore considered a breach of the reasonable standard of care on part of the medical professionals.
Child Birth Injuries
Childbirth injuries are treated as consequences of medical negligence of different kind and so they cannot be fitted in the above- mentioned other categories. Negligence at the time of delivery of a child, which is necessarily undertaken by the gynaecologists leads to a disease known as cerebral palsy, which affects the newborn and restricts his mental growth and development for the rest of his life. The cerebral palsy claims can be filed by the parents of the affected till the latter attains 18 years of age, after which he is given 3 more years to claim compensation himself.
Making Medical Negligence Compensation Claims
The prominent instances of medical negligence along with the causes have been explained. However, in all these cases, it is a failure of the medical practitioners to carry out their duties well that paves the way for immense sufferance of others. A victim of clinical negligence can certainly file a compensation claim against not just the private professionals but also the National Health Service. In spite of the fact that the medical negligence solicitors are specialized, enough to handle the particular cases, it is better for one to stay aware of the basic of fling the medical negligence claims, which are as follows:
- The existence of a doctor- patient relationship
- That the act of the doctor, nurse or any other health care authorities had been a careless one
- The negligence caused injuries that needs to be detected as results of the same
- The injuries caused other damages to the victim
The first point here signifies that an individual becomes eligible for filing medical negligence claim only when he has been a patient to the doctor against whom he is complaining. This means that the individual must have visited and hired the doctor’s advice to get cured of some problem or disease and so, the relationship by means of agreement has already been established between the two. One can certainly not claim compensation from a doctor, whose advice has just been overheard by the individual somewhere and had not been directed specifically to him.
Secondly, clinical negligence implies a situation where a medical professional has failed to adhere to the reasonable standard of care. The careless act of the doctor or the nurse has to be established on the basis that any other practitioner would have worked in a different way and triggered positive results under the given circumstances.
Medical malpractices can lead to both minor and severe injuries depending on the health and medical condition of the patient. A worsening of this condition may also take place as a result. However, a claim has to have a proper base to it and in doing so; it must prove that the negligent act led to certain injuries of the victim.
The victim of medical negligence must have also incurred other damages like mental anguish and most importantly, financial losses coming from the expenses on additional medical treatment, absent days at work and hence loss of earnings and so on. It ought to be remembered in this respect that a person cannot sue a negligent doctor if the careless act had not caused any harm to the victim.
How do the Medical Negligence Solicitors Help in Making Claims?
Compensation is essential and often the only source of hope for a person, who has been forced to sufferance at a time when he was actually looking forward to a normal life. Filing the medical negligence claims call for several complications and the most difficult part in it is proving the negligence of the medical professionals. The medical negligence solicitors play a significant role in this regard. With all the specialized knowledge and expertise that they have, they gather all the medical records and prescriptions of the victim and by means of this, arrange the case is as much a convincing manner as possible.
The solicitors serve as being true guides to the claimants, also instilling in them the courage to go ahead filing claims and seek justice. This is very important, as many people are still not aware of their rights and prefer suffering in silence instead of taking legal steps. However, medical malpractice is no less than a crime and so; the offenders need to be punished adequately. There has been a recent increase in the reports of the cases of medical negligence, which can be stopped only when people become aware of what they should expect out of their investment on medical treatment and what entitles them to claim compensation. The cost- free legal assistance of the qualified solicitors work wonders in relieving the victims from financial troubles.