NHS Errors - Medical Negligence Compensation Claim Solicitors

Medical negligence covers many issues relating to NHS errors within the control of healthcare professionals however one area of this wide ranging topic that causes perhaps more concern than any other refers to what healthcare professionals describe as ‘never happen errors’ that are mistakes so gross and easily preventable that they literally should never happen in a well run National Health Service. Never happen errors are now categorised to exceed 100 different events that include the following scenarios and in most cases a medical negligence compensation claim relating to this type of NHS error should succeed without the necessity of a trial. In these circumstances NHS errors amounting to medical negligence will usually be admitted at an early stage and financial settlement will occur after initial investigation of the issues. The only matter that may cause delay in settlement of this particular category of NHS mistakes relates to the valuation of the personal injury either because a stable prognosis has yet to be reached or in cases of disagreement over the actual value of the personal injury which may ultimately need the intervention of the court to settle the amount of the financial award in the absence of agreement between the parties.

Prescription Errors

Erroneous administration of drugs and medicines is a major category within the scope of NHS errors and is known to cause numerous deaths in the UK every year. The National Patient Safety Agency receives tens of thousands of reports of mistakes in prescribing or administering medicines including errors in hospitals, GP surgeries and mental health facilities. Most of these NHS errors cause no harm however over 100 people are caused serious injury every year with upwards of 30 deaths each year. It is estimated that only 10% of prescription errors are reported indicating that the true figure for prescription errors approaches 1,000,000 NHS mistakes every year. The three most common problems involved an unclear or wrong dose or wrong frequency; the wrong medicine being given; and drugs being omitted or delayed.

Surgery Errors

NHS errors before, during and immediately after surgical procedures may be very serious events and include wrong site surgery & wrong person surgery both of which are totally preventable. Wrong site surgery refers to an operation being carried out on the wrong part of the body including wrong eye, wrong kidney, wrong elbow etc. Wrong person surgery is defined as a surgical procedure that is carried out on entirely the wrong person due to mis-identification.

Surgery errors also include leaving medical instruments & swabs in the body after surgery.

The most common surgery error after wrong site surgery relates to misplaced feeding tubes in both children and adults which can have life threatening consequences. These events are usually discovered after the event meaning that further surgery is necessary except in cases with fatal consequences.

Wrong Route Administration of Chemotherapy

Intravenous or other chemotherapy may be correctly prescribed but administered via the wrong route (usually into the intrathecal space) which may lead to death. In addition other NHS errors include wrongly prescribed medication and other errors in administration of drugs and medicines. Dosage of chemotherapy is usually carefully calculated to provide maximum therapeutic benefit however excess medication can lead to toxicity and death.

Wrong Blood Transfusion Causing Death

Administration of the wrong type of blood during a blood transfusion may cause a severe transfusion reaction resulting in multi organ failure and death. Some of the symptoms caused by transfusion of the wrong blood may alert the patient immediately however other symptoms mat take months to appear. Common ailments as a result of transfusion of the wrong type of blood include allergic reactions, heart failure, respiratory problems and kidney failure.

Medical Negligence Solicitors

If you have been the victim of an NHS error that caused personal injury you may be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim for damages and losses. For free advice without further obligation just call our helpline or email our office and a specialist clinical negligence solicitor will discuss your potential claim with you over the telephone. We offer free initial advice on no win no fee** compensation claims without any further obligation. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client.Time limits do apply to medical negligence litigation and you should not delay taking legal advice.

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here