Typically associated with sub-standard care and inexperienced medical professionals, medical negligence is a widespread problem. Even respected NHS trusts and places of care can be responsible for negligence, and whether the cause is lack of intervention, staffing problems or administrative mistakes, it is never the patient’s fault. Patients who have suffered are urged to seek legal representation for a medical negligence claim. There are many high profile cases that have awarded victims with significant compensation for the poor quality of treatment that they received.
Unexpected Arrival for Vasectomy Couple
In 2004, three women started legal proceedings against a Plymouth GP practice after they all became pregnant despite their partners having had vasectomies. Their partners had been given the all-clear months after the operations when they had routine tests following the surgeries. They were told that the procedures had been successful.
The women were distressed and confused when doctor’s confirmed that that they were pregnant. One claimant, Mrs Susan Blake, assumed that the early signs of her pregnancy were because of stress. However, three years after her husband had had the vasectomy, she discovered that they would be having another child.
The women, represented by medical negligence lawyers, sought compensation for the low standard of treatment that their partners received.
Cancer Misdiagnose Results in Leg Amputation
An elderly woman received more than £100,000 in damages from the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham when her leg was unnecessarily amputated.
72 year old Doreen Nicholls was being treated for a lump that appeared on her foot after a previous surgery. Following a biopsy, doctor’s diagnosed the lump as an aggressive form of tissue cancer. She underwent surgery for a below the knee amputation in October 2007, but further tests revealed that it was just swelling of the joint’s lining.
Settling out of court, the hospital apologised for to Ms Nicholls for its serious mistake and error in judgement.
Drug Error Causes Stroke
A man was awarded damages of £510,000 when he suffered from a stroke after being given the wrong drugs to treat his heart attack.
Mr Atwood, then aged 64, was put into a drug trial after being admitted to Kent and Sussex Hospital. However, he did not meet the criteria for the trial and suffered from a debilitating stroke. It left him with permanent physical and psychological damage.
Speaking in court, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS trust said that Mr Atwood would not have suffered from the stroke had he been given different treatment. He received the compensation and a letter of apology from the trust.
Undiagnosed Tumour Causes Growth In Young Girl
In 2012, a woman suffering from an undiagnosed tumour successfully won more than £1 million in damages from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS. The tumour went untreated between 2001 and 2005, leaving Kate Woodward, now 20, with further medical problems and physical defects.
Miss Woodward’s height grew to 6ft 5ins tall because of the pituitary gland tumour, and her weight ballooned to 24 stone. Speaking in court on her behalf, her counsel told the judge that Ms Woodward suffered from stress and bullying throughout her childhood as she suffered from the untreated growth.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust admitted clinical negligence in regards to their treatment toward Ms Woodward.
Ventilator Switch off Causes Brain Damage
A paralysed man being cared for in his home was left severely brain damaged when his nurse switched off his ventilator.
Following a road accident, Mr Merrett was left paralysed from the neck down, but could use a wheelchair and voice-activated technology to communicate. In 2009, a bedside camera caught Mr Merrett’s home nurse, who had been contracted from a private health agency, mistakenly switch off his ventilator. Realising the error, paramedics restarted the ventilator 21 minutes later, but Mr Merrett had already suffered from permanent brain damage.
Invent Health, the agency who sub-contracted work to the private health care group who had hired the nurse, is being sued for compensation for the medical negligence claim.
John Corwin is a freelance medical writer covering medical news, such as new drug releases, and cases of exceptional treatment be they good or bad.