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Mary R. O'Shea B.A. LL.B

If you believe that you may have suffered an injury as a result of Medical Negligence please do not hesitate to contact us for a No Obligation Consultation. Our Litigation Partner Mary R. O’Shea B.A. LL.B.

Nicholas Russell B.C.L., A.I.T.I, BA

and our Regulatory Partner, Nicholas Russell B.C.L., A.I.T.I, BA, work together in representing the interest of Clients who suffer in such circumstances.

The Firm of O’Shea Russell Solicitors handles cases of misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, childbirth injuries, medication errors, anesthetic errors, surgical mishaps, failure to secure Informed Consent, MRSA and other infections and procedural errors.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss their individual circumstances with those who believe that they have been injured. We appreciate that those injured through Medical Negligence or substandard treatment need an honest and clear understanding as to why the injury occurred, have a desire to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future and want Medical Professionals and Organisations to take responsibility for their actions and seek to improve.

Most injured patients do not initiate proceedings for Medical Negligence because of financial motivation, however, the reality is that an injury will result in pain and suffering and is likely to lead to loss of earnings, high levels of out of pocket expenses and the need to incur costs associated with recovery and the adjustments necessitated from changed circumstances. This generally necessitates an application for Compensation for which Claims Medical Professionals and Organisations are fully insured.

Those injured are entitled to be vindicated and to see the incident that led to the injury fully investigated.

Medical NegligenceFollowing a First Consultation with you we will undertake an initial investigation with a view to identifying possible areas of negligence. A review of all Medical Records, personal notes, correspondence from Medical Professionals and Organisations, X-Rays and Reports will be undertaken initially.

Where a prima facia case for compensation is identified we have access to a wide range of Independent Medical Professionals who can determine if your Doctor, other Medical Advice or Hospital behaved properly or not.

Medical Negligence Litigation has a clear Societal benefit and leads to Medical Accountability, better safety procedures and protocols and a focus on consistent improvement in the provision of medical services.

If you would like to Consult with us, please visit our contact us page which contains all of our details. There are time limits on the bringing of Medical Negligence Claims so it is important to take Legal Advice without delay.

An injury suffered through Medical Negligence is a type of personal injury which entitles the Injured Party to compensation. For this reason Medical Professionals and Organisations carry Medical Malpractice Insurance.

Hospital and Medical Professionals must provide a reasonable standard of care. Patients are vulnerable in such circumstances and the Law seeks to protect them and impose and enforce standards that have a Societal benefit.

When we speak of Medical Negligence Claims we are generally looking at two categories of Claim.

Firstly, there is the potential for claims against Hospitals or similar Organisations or Facilities.

Secondly, a claim for compensation may exist against a Patient’s Doctor or other Medical Professionals.

In either case you must establish that there was a breach of a duty of care owed to you by providing you with unacceptable care and that the breach caused damage to you.

The standard of proof is the “balance of probabilities”. This standard is sometimes expressed in percentage terms as more than 50% i.e. that, on balance, you can establish your claim.

Hospital Negligence

Hospital NegligenceYou rely on Hospital Staff to care for you when you are at a very vulnerable time in your life and you expect procedures within the hospital to ensure that the appropriate level of care is provided.

Any negligent act, omission or incompetence can lead to further injury or illness.

There may be liability for:-

  • The failure to make sure hospital staff have the required level of training
  • Not having enough staff (nurses and technical staff) to ensure proper patient care
  • Keeping inadequate records or mislaying them
  • Administration of wrong medication or incorrect dosage
  • Surgical errors
  • Inadequate post-surgical care
  • Unnecessary exposure to threat of infection
  • Use of inadequate equipment
  • Lack of supervision of junior staff
  • Failure to carry out sufficient tests (e.g. x-rays, MRI Scans etc)

Any analysis by the Partners of O’Shea Russell Solicitors of the circumstances of a potential claim will involve considering the current position with the injured party, the potential future complications, the current and future care needs and the personal and financial implications for the injured person.

The issue of liability will be analysed and potential defences challenged.

Negligence of Medical Professional

Negligence of Medical ProfessionalA Doctor or other Medical Professional is seen as negligent where he or she fails to meet the appropriate standard of care.

The standard of care is the professionally accepted method of treatment. Medicine is not an exact science and the Law does not expect a Medical Professional to be error free all of the time. The question is whether the error breaches the standard of care or is a recognised risk of the particular procedure.

The question is whether a competent Medical Professional would have made the mistake.

A patient must establish that the Medical Professional was negligent in not providing treatment in a reasonably skilful and competent manner and that this negligence caused an actual injury to the patient.

Some issues arise more often than others:

  • Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

This can result in the Patient missing an opportunity for effective treatment. The question here is whether the Doctor acted competently. What ‘differential diagnosis’ method was issued?

In the preliminary evaluation of the patient, the doctor lists possible diagnosis and considers which is more likely to be the correct one by observing the patient, asking detailed questions, ordering tests or sending the Patient to other specialists. The objective is to rule out possible diagnoses and be left with the correct one.

The Claimant must establish that a doctor in a similar specialty under similar circumstances would not have misdiagnosed. Did the Doctor include the correct diagnosis in his/her differential diagnosis list? Did the doctor properly investigate the possibility that the Patient’s illness or condition might be explained by this diagnosis?

  • Incorrect Test Results

A Doctor will rely on the accuracy of test results. If it transpires that, due to errors in those tests, an illness is not diagnosed, the doctor is unlikely to be liable but another person or Organisation might be. For example, the diagnostic equipment might itself be faulty or poorly maintained or a human error may have occurred.

  • Failure to warn a Patient of known risks with a procedure

A Patient must give informed Consent to a procedure. The important word here is ‘informed’. The question is whether a patient would have undergone the procedure had he/she been properly informed of the possible risks.

  • Surgery Issues

Mistakes can and do occur in the Operating Room. A Surgical Team may be negligent in the performance of the task at hand. Internal organs may be damaged, wrong parts of the body may be operated on, extraneous materials like sponges or surgical instruments may be left inside the body. There can also be significant shortcomings in post- operative care.

  • Medication Errors

The most common medication errors involve dosage. The Medical Professional may prescribe the wrong medication. Whoever is filling the prescription may dispense or incorrectly administer or the equipment that actually administers the drug may malfunction.

Errors can also occur in the administration of anesthesia leading to serious injury up to and including brain damage. An Anesthesiologist may fail to properly investigate the patient’s past medical history in assessing the appropriate anesthetic agent and dosage to use or can fail to inform the Patient of the importance of pre-operative instructions being followed.

  • Childbirth Occurrences

Among the most disturbing incidences of Medical Negligence are those that can occur during childbirth when both mother and child are at their most vulnerable. We only have to look at newspaper reports to appreciate how devastating and life changing such injuries are.

Among the tragic injuries that can be suffered by the newborn are brain injuries (cerebral palsy and seizure disorders), physical injury and Erbs and Klumpke’s Palsy (damage to nerves that control hands and arms).

Negligent medical treatment can occur both during the pregnancy or during the childbirth itself.

Examples of negligent treatment during a pregnancy include failure to diagnose a medical condition in the mother such as preeclampsia, Rh incompatibility, hypoglycemia, anaemia or gestational diabetes or failure to identify ectopic pregnancies. There may also be failure to diagnose an illness in the mother that could transfer to the child in the womb if not treated.

During childbirth itself, there can be failure to anticipate complications due to the size or positioning of the baby in the womb, failure to respond to signs of foetal distress, failure to use a caesarean procedure where safer for both mother and child or incompetent use of instrumentation to include forceps or vacuum extractor.

Medical Negligence cases are complex and it is essential to get experience Professional Advice when considering your options.