In very simple terms, medical negligence is the maltreatment of patient by a healthcare provider, doctor or medical practitioner. The word ‘maltreatment’ covers a very broad spectrum, so we will try to explain it in the context of medical negligence. Maltreatment occurs when the standard of medical care provided to the patient falls below the acceptable standard as specified by the concerned medical authority. Now this definition of maltreatment alone is insufficient. To further explain, we will discuss some common types of medical negligence.
Unfortunately, there are times when a child can suffer an injury during and/or immediately after the birth. The cause might be some mistakes during or prior to the birth. For instance, the mother-to-be could be treated with the wrong drug before delivery causing a negative effect on the child or the delivery could be mishandled by those supposed to look after her. Sometimes, the post natal care provided to the child and mother may be insufficient or have undesirably low standard. If the mother or child sustains any injury due to the aforementioned reasons, this might warrant eligibility for monetary compensation on grounds of medical negligence.
There are many areas which can be covered under hospital negligence – from unsanitary conditions to mistreatment at the hands of hospital staff – it confers a wide array of claim types.
Misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of errors made be doctors. Failing to diagnose or diagnosing a totally wrong condition falls into this category. It can lead to the patient getting incorrect treatment, which can worsen the condition.
Another common complaint by victims of medical negligence – this happens when patient is operated on unnecessarily and non-invasive techniques could have provided the solution.
As the title suggests, you can make this claim if the medication provided to you was wrong and unneeded for the ailment you suffer from. Apart from not curing the problem, incorrect medication can have adverse effects on body. It may result in grievous and permanent damage.
Administration of the wrong type or strength of anesthetic agent can have disastrous consequences. Under dosage can leave the patient awake during the operation and over dosage can have equally dire results.
Medical Devices and Products
These days, doctors rely heavily on medical equipment. Equipment can be an electronic device, like a dialysis machine or pacemaker, or plain old medical instruments like a stethoscope or a scalpel. So if a medical instrument or device turns out to be faulty, it is usually the manufacturer’s fault and the manufacturer may have to pay compensation.
All the aforementioned types of claims might be applicable to dental treatments as well. Some cosmetic procedures may not be covered, but it is best to discuss things with a medical solicitor before undergoing an unusual medical procedure or treatment.
It is important to remember that your claim may be rejected if it is found that you failed to follow doctor’s suggestions, prescriptions or adhere to the guidelines outlined by your healthcare provider.
Ali Asjad is a medical negligence solicitor’s assistant based in London. He writes about clinical negligence claims for medical and legal blogs.