Medical Negligence

Hospital Negligence

Hospital Negligence

Hospital Negligence Lawyers

Many medical negligence claims arise out of treatment provided at public or private hospitals by doctors, surgeons, specialists, midwifes and nurses. Medical treatment does not always go to plan and mistakes and errors do occur even in the hands of the most experienced medical professionals.

If you or anyone you know has suffered a physical or psychiatric injury, death or a complication as a result of negligent medical treatment at a hospital, we will secure you the compensation you deserve. Our team of specialist medical negligence lawyers are experienced in acting for patients and their families in respect of negligent medical treatment received in public and private hospitals all around Australia. We understand the devastating effects of having suffered an injury or a worsened medical condition, or experienced the loss of a loved one, as a result of negligent hospital treatment.

We’ll be here for you every step of the way guiding you through the process in your hospital negligence claim. We have the expert knowledge, expertise and a proven track record needed to obtain outstanding results in all types of hospital negligence and malpractice compensation claims.

We’ll act for you in your hospital negligence claim on a no win, no fee basis with no upfront costs. See our why choose us page for many more reasons as to why so many Australians choose Longton Compensation Lawyers over anyone else for their hospital negligence compensation claims.

When can I claim compensation for hospital negligence?

Some of the common ways in which medical treatment at public or private hospitals can fall below an acceptable standard and allow you to claim compensation for medical negligence include:

  • Missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis

Medical misdiagnosis occurs when symptoms of a serious medical condition are attributed to a less serious medical condition. As a result, the more serious condition is missed and is not diagnosed and leads to erroneous or inappropriate treatment, delayed treatment or, sometimes, no treatment at all being provided to the patient.

 – Example 1

A patient presents to a hospital emergency department with symptoms of neck pain and fever. No blood tests are taken, and the patient is diagnosed with mechanical neck pain and is discharged home. The patient’s symptom of neck pain is caused by a developing spinal infection (osteomyelitis), which would have been suspected if the patient’s blood was tested for inflammatory markers at the time of presentation. The patient’s spinal infection remains undiagnosed and is not subject to appropriate and timely treatment. Over the next few days, the spinal infection progress and renders the patient to become a quadriplegic.

 – Example 2

A surgeon who perforates a patient’s bowel during a surgical gynaecological or abdominal procedure may be found negligent in doing so if it is established that in the lead up to the bowel perforation, the surgeon did not take certain steps or precautions and this failure caused the perforation of the bowel. In addition, the hospital staff (i.e. the hospital) may also be held liable not just for the surgeon’s actions during the operation in causing the bowel perforation, but if following the operation the patient exhibited symptoms of bowel injury, but these symptoms were not picked up or acted on by doctors or nurses of the hospital, and resulted in a delay in diagnosis of the patient’s bowel perforation leading to greater intraabdominal damage and worse prognosis.

See our medical misdiagnosis page for more information on missed diagnosis, misdiagnosis and delay in diagnosis medical negligence compensation claims involving public and private hospitals.

  • Surgical errors or mistakes before, during and after surgery

Although surgical errors and mistakes in public and private hospitals occur for many reasons, in most instances they are caused by some form of human error and are usually completely preventable with the exercise of reasonable skill and care on the part of the operating surgeon.

 – Example

A registrar or a trainee surgeon at a hospital perforates a patient’s bowel or cuts through one of the patient’s ureters, or damages another organ, or causes a vascular injury during abdominal or gynaecological or other type of surgery because of inadequate or poor surgical technique, or poor preparation and planning for the surgical procedure, or failure to correctly identify the location of that organ during the surgical procedure.

See our surgical errors and mistakes page for more information on medical negligence claims involving surgical errors and mistakes during surgery at private and public hospitals.

  • Anaesthesia or anaesthetic negligence

Medical negligence compensation claims against anaesthetists or anaesthesiologists involving anaesthesia or anastatic arise out of errors before, during or after surgery in public and private hospitals.

 – Example

An anaesthetist reviews a high-risk patient with a known history of atrial fibrillation (AF), which is an irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots in the heart.  The anaesthetist does not recommend that the patient be placed onto an anticoagulation regime for a period in the lead up to the surgical procedure, because of the patient’s AF. The anaesthetist determines that the patient is fit enough to undergo surgery as is. As a result of not being properly anticoagulated in the lead up to the surgery, the patient suffers a severe stroke during or immediately after the surgery, which would have been avoided with implementation of a proper pre-operative anticoagulation regime for several weeks in the lead up to surgery.

See our anaesthesia or anaesthetic errors page for more information on medical negligence claims against anaesthetists or anaesthesiologists involving anaesthesia or anaesthetic errors at private and public hospitals.

  • Birth injuries to mothers

Birth injuries to the mother can occur during any pregnancy, even if the mother has no risk factors and the pregnancy is deemed to be normal or low risk. They often occur because of doctors’, midwives’ or nurses’ mistakes during pregnancy, labour or delivery.

 – Example

The hospital staff refuse to deliver a baby by way of a caesarean section (c-section) despite the mother’s request to deliver her baby in that way. During the delivery, forceps or a vacuum are used to deliver the baby causing the mother to suffer significant vaginal and anal tearing resulting in urinary and faecal incontinence and other associated disabilities.

See our birth injuries page for more information on medical negligence claims against private and public hospitals involving injuries to mothers during pregnancy, labour and delivery.

  • Birth injuries to babies

Birth injuries can occur because of several risk factors and conditions during childbirth at public or private hospitals. Each cause is distinct and can lead to different types of injury.

 – Example

A newborn baby suffers hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) as a result of acute loss of blood and oxygen flow to the brain during childbirth. The deprivation of oxygen and blood causes cells in the developing brain to rapidly decay and then die. The oxygen deprivation is due to obstetric complications during the labour and delivery process, caused by a doctor making a critical mistake by not appropriately monitoring and acting quickly enough to provide medical intervention before the baby suffers excessive oxygen deprivation resulting in HIE.

See our birth injuries page for more information on medical negligence claims against private and public hospitals involving injuries to babies during pregnancy, labour and delivery.

  • Medication and prescription errors

Medication and prescription errors are mistakes which occur in prescribing, dispensing and giving medications. Although most medication and prescription errors are totally preventable, they injure hundreds of thousands of patients every year in private and public hospitals all over Australia.

 – Example

At the time of discharge from hospital, instead of being instructed on the discharge summary to take one anticoagulation medication, and once finished, to commence taking another anticoagulation medication the patient (due to a typographical error) is instructed to take both anticoagulation medications at the same time. As a result, the patient suffers from catastrophic internal bleeding which results in a near death experience.

See our medication and prescription errors page for more information on medical negligence compensation claims involving medication and prescription errors at public and private hospitals.

  • Falls in hospitals

Falls among inpatients at public and private hospitals are the most frequently reported safety incidents today. No fall is harmless, as it always leads to psychological sequelae leading to loss of confidence, delays in functional recovery and prolonged hospitalisation, especially in the elderly population. Most falls are preventable with the exercise of reasonable skill and care on the part of the hospital or nursing staff.

See our falls in hospitals page for more information on medical negligence claims arising out of falls at public and private hospitals.

  • Development of pressure injuries or sores

Pressure injuries or sores usually occur over bony parts of the body such as hips, heels, tailbone, elbows, head and ankles. They can become life-threatening if they develop into a deep wound or become infected. Pressure injuries are usually preventable with the exercise of reasonable skill and care on the part of the hospital staff.

See our pressure injury page for more information on medical negligence claims because of development of pressure injuries against public and private hospitals.

Contact us today, and start with a free consultation by clicking “Make a Booking” to receive our preliminary expert advice.  

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Jonathan Coyle
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