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Medical Negligence



Clinical and Medical Negligence claims covers many areas such as -

 

Medical Negligence is a very complex area of law. It is a very traumatic and sometimes life changing experience and as such it is important that appropriate legal advice be sought from the outset.

There are currently some 4000 adverse incidents occurring in Irish hospitals each month.  These include both major and minor incidents. Of these adverse incidents, 500 cases on average each year are dealt with by the State Claims Agency. Since 2004 the State Claims Agency has taken over the handling of claims against hospital consultants.  In 2008 of the claims lodged with the State Claims Agency; 18 per cent concerned surgical issues, 17 per cent were surrounding childbirth, 17 per cent related to treatment incidents, 14 per cent related to a diagnosis incident, 13 per cent to infection control, and 2 per cent to medication incidents.

The firm of Aidan T. Stapleton & Company has dealt with many cases in the area of medical negligence over the years and are committed to working with you and advising you if your medical treatment has gone wrong.

In order to establish a case in medical negligence against either a medical practitioner, or a hospital involved in diagnosis or treatment, it must firstly be proven that no reasonably competent medical practitioner of equal status and skill faced with the same set of circumstances would have acted in the same manner. Therefore if a body of medical opinion can show that it would have acted in the same way as the practitioner/hospital responsible for the treatment, then there is no case to be made in medical negligence unless one can prove that such practice was inherently defective.

Secondly "causation" has to be proven.   It has to be established that on the balance of probabilities that the treatment which is alleged to have been negligent or substandard, materially contributed to the Plaintiff's injury.  The Plaintiff has to be in position to establish that but for the error on the part of the doctor/hospital the injury would have been avoided. 
                                        


Statute of Limitations

An individual, who has been injured as a result of a medical procedure, has 2 years from the date of the injury or 2 years from the date of knowledge in which to take a case and issue proceedings, in accordance with the provisions of the Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004. In the case of minors or those with an intellectual impairment time limits are extended by legislation. If in any doubt about whether your case is within the Statue of Limitations it is important that you seek legal advice immediately.

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There are many recurring accidents which happen in hospitals which give rise to claims being made against hospitals. Below is outlined the typical type of case which is usually made against hospitals arising out of treatment in A& E departments of those hospitals.  In the area of Cancer Misdiagnosis there are again unfortunately many incidents of patients being misdiagnosed which lead to claims being made, and  both of which are dealt with briefly here.

 

 

Medical Negligence in A & E Departments

Whatever your view about the health care system in Ireland, there are unfortunately many things that can and do go wrong in practice; Overcrowded hospitals and A & E Departments, insufficient staff to deal with emergency cases, over worked staff who have to deal with all sorts of emergency cases some of which may not be seen to in time, mistakes made by junior doctors who need to be get experience on site in the A & E Departments as part of their training, and who have no alternative but to be thrown in at the deep end so to speak. Mistakes also occur because the appropriate senior doctors are sometimes not available to deal with specialist situations that arise from time to time in A & E. The most common reasons for negligence in A & E Departments are as follows; -

  • Failure to treat and diagnose fractures.
  • Failure to order scans and/or x-rays.
  • Failure to scan the correct body part.
  • Incorrect reading and misinterpretation of scans and x-rays.
  • Failure to diagnose and treat a fracture in time.
  • Inappropriate and sub-standard treatment of fractures.
  • Failure to be appropriately treated when seen to.

Claims for medical negligence are generally brought against the hospital concerned and not against the doctor or nurse involved.  If you have been injured as a result of your experience in an A& E Department please contact us at 01 6797939 or alternatively by filing out the Online Enquiry Form.

 

 

Cancer Misdiagnosis and Medical Negligence

It is a fact that people are referred to hospitals all the time for x-rays or blood tests. Most people having undergone these x-rays or blood tests are diagnosed correctly and as a result benefit from early medical intervention. But for a small number, unfortunately, this is not the case and they end up being misdiagnosed, discharged, or treated incorrectly for something other than that for which they ought to have been treated. Over a period of time one’s condition often worsens and often when a second opinion is sought, this results in a different diagnosis being given which should have been made in the first instance. For such people this is a very distressing experience, which may have devastating consequences. As a result of the initial misdiagnosis treatment is often received too late, leaving the aggrieved family of the injured party feeling as if they have no alternative but to litigate. In other cases, patients may be misdiagnosed and treated unnecessarily which invariably results in trauma. The most common reasons for misdiagnosis in cancer are as follows; -

  • Failure to properly examine a patient who presents at hospital.
  • Failure to appropriately monitor a patient who has a family history of cancer.
  • Failure to explore or adequately explore the symptoms of cancer at an early stage.
  • Failure to refer a patient to a cancer specialist at the earliest opportunity.
  • Failure to recognise the symptoms and signs of cancer.
  • Failure to properly interpret x-rays and laboratory results.

The firm of Aidan T Stapleton & Co. has for many years dealt in all areas of medical negligence in A & E Departments. If you have been affected by any of the areas mentioned above please contact us and avail of our initial complimentary consultation now.


 

Aidan T. Stapleton & Co. Solicitors Divorce Law Ireland | Family Law Ireland | Solicitors Dublin | Personal Injury Dublin | Immigration Law Ireland | Human Rights Llaw Ireland | Wills and Probate Dublin | Medical Negligence Law Ireland | Car Accidents