Leon – Medical Negligence is prevalent
Medical negligence is becoming more prevalent as patients come forward with harrowing stories of the poor standard of care they received. In many cases, patients face even greater harm than before they sought treatment. It can be a horrible experience to leave a medical facility feeling worse than you did before, but many patients report such, like in the following case.
In 2009, a 31-year-old mother of two underwent a caesarian section during the birth of her second child. A few days after her surgery, her stitches burst open to reveal her intestine. She was immediately rushed into emergency surgery.
However, during her recovery, the mother was separated from her new baby, which caused a major depressive episode as well as severe anxiety. She also suffered significant abdominal pain from her two surgeries. She was required to undergo physical therapy, psychotherapy and was prescribed antidepressants, thereby prolonging her recovery time which, had the c-section been performed without complications, could have been spent caring for her new baby.
An investigation revealed that her caesarian section was poorly performed and the rupture of the wound was caused by the failure of the surgeon to secure knots in the rectus sheath. Therefore, the Defendant Hospital Trust agreed to pay compensation, which was partially used to cover the additional therapy sessions needed for the patient to recover.
Stories like this can cause even the most stoic patient to worry when entering a regimen of medical treatment. Unfortunately, these stories are common. Fortunately for the patient above, she was able to secure compensation for her injuries. Even so, while the compensation was helpful for her family, nothing will be able to make up for those days in the hospital when she should have been home bonding with her new baby.
What to do if you are a victim of medical negligence
Medical negligence is a real threat and if you are a victim of substandard medical care, you should know what to do. You have the right to top quality medical care as well as the right to knowing that when you put your life in a health care professional’s hands, that person will act within the highest professional standards of the industry.
If you have suffered as a result of a mistake in your treatment, you should look into filing a medical negligence claim. This is a legal procedure in which you make the case that a mistake was made and that you should receive compensation. Compensation is usually a monetary sum that can be used to cover the additional treatments needed because of the mistake, as well as living expenses due to extra missed days at work.
To file a claim, you will most likely need the assistance of a solicitor, who will meet with you to determine whether you have a case worth pursuing. Many solicitors do not charge for that initial meeting, so you can access help and advice without an initial expense. Then, if you have a case, your solicitor will meet with hospital staff to determine what happened and work with the hospital’s solicitors to reach an agreement regarding whether or not you should be compensated. During this process, your solicitor will serve as your advocate and will make sure you get what you deserve.
There is no excuse for medical negligence. If you have been a victim, make sure you get the help and compensation you deserve.
Frankie Peterson – Medical Student and freelance copywriter and journalist
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithburtis/2712540324/