The heartbreak of medical negligence claims

Industry news roundup: week ended 22 Dec 2014:

The personal injury compensation market isn’t all just car accidents and slips and trips on broken pavement – there’s medical negligence claims as well.

There’s something particularly depressing and heartbreaking when it comes to medical negligence claims, especially since they usually stem from a terrible, debilitating injury or ailment¬†that would have never occurred if it wasn’t for a mistake made by medical professionals. The worst of these cases are most certainly those that happen to young children or newborn infants, as it sets these unfortunate kids with a lifetime of pain and suffering.

A good example of this is the teenager from Belfast who recently received a massive ¬£8 million in personal injury compensation after it was proven that his spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy was a result of an improperly treated infection just after his birth. The poor child also ended up with learning difficulties and epilepsy – as if his other injuries weren’t enough – and having to need constant 24 hour a day care.

So on the one hand it’s fantastic to hear that this poor teenager has received such a huge settlement amount. You know as well as I do that he’s going to need that cash as he grows older to be able to afford the things he needs, like a specially adapted home and the round the clock medical care he’s going to need in order to survive. It’s exactly why his personal injury solicitors worked so hard to get him that weighty award.

On the other hand, I am absolutely positive that the poor teen and his family would trade away every single penny just to be made whole. I know that if I had a child in the same predicament I would quite literally give my own arm and a leg to heal my own son or daughter. My heart absolutely goes out to this family for everything they have had to go through, and I can only hope that they can get a bit of respite now that the lawsuit is over and their personal injury claims have been settled against the hospital responsible for the tragic events.

NHS inundated with new medical negligence claims

Industry news roundup: week ended 15 Sept 2014:

The NHS has been awash in new medical negligence claims this year – and the stories behind these personal injury claims are positively heartbreaking.

It’s always difficult to think that the doctors and other medical health professionals working for the NHS make mistakes, especially since such a mistake can lead to life-changing (or even life-ending) results for patients and their families. I know I don’t like to think about it when I go to the GP with a health problem, but it’s always there in the back of my head, and now there’s more nightmare fuel for me, you and all of us thanks to the new information released by the Health & Social Care Information Centre this week.

HSCIC went through and added up all the complaints that had been made against the NHS during the 2013-2014 year and came up with a staggering figure: there’s been nearly 175,000 over this time. This represents a seven per cent jump over the 2012-2013 year, and it’s more than a bit scary to think that medical professionals are making so many more mistakes this year.

The figures are staggering but the personal details of each complaint are even more disheartening. Consider the facts of a medical negligence claim that came forward this week concerning a man who died at the all-too-early age of 30 after being misdiagnosed by hospital staff: poor Andrew Raybould had been sent to hospital not once, not twice, but three bloody times, and every time he was sent home because no one in the entire damn hospital could suss out that he was suffering from severe pancreatitis. Meanwhile the poor bloke died from the condition, all the while suffering from multiple organ failure and sepsis.

The man’s parents are of course incredibly bereaved and are incensed with the way their son was treated by the NHS, and I for one can not fault them for even one moment for how they’re feeling. Just on the face of it the situation seems absolutely abhorrent and I hope they can sink their teeth into the NHS for as much as they can get out of it. Sure it won’t ever ease the pain of having their son ripped away from them, but at the very least they’ll know the incompetence of that medical staff will not go unpunished.