Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Effective, encouraging, enthusiastic and providing an excellent result
THE POINT at which medical treatment becomes negligence is not always easily defined. Proving error is tricky and usually involves one or more specialists making a judgment on the skills of another. The process can take years and requires commitment and persistence by a team of skilled lawyers. But settlements can be achieved – many of them substantial and making a real difference to the quality of life of those affected.
One case taken forward by Digby Brown involved the delivery of a baby called Thomas in 1994, during which, he suffered from a condition called shoulder dystocia. This is an obstetric emergency as the baby becomes caught by the shoulder. This delays delivery and causes compression on the cord.
In Thomas’ case, forceps were used for delivery. He was then found to have an avulsion injury, rendering
his arm completely useless. The effects turned out to be permanent and it was argued on his behalf that excessive force with forceps was used during delivery.
After many years fighting for justice, Digby Brown achieved settlement of a six-figure sum. Its thorough preparation of the case was a major factor in the defenders’ decision to settle before the hearing. The money allowed Thomas to improve his personal circumstances in ways which would not otherwise have been possible.
Without the expertise, hard work and commitment of the legal team, this would not have happened. Thomas’ parents said they were delighted with the settlement and said Digby Brown “were effective, encouraging, enthusiastic – and excellent.”
This article was published in The Scotsman on 26th March 2012 written by Andrew Collier
If you would like to find out more about how Digby Brown could help you with a Clinical Negligence case email: email@example.com or click here to read more about the department.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Series of mistakes by clinical staff led to patient’s death
On 3rd November 2006, MM attended his GP suffering from breathlessness and chest pain. His peak expiratory flow was significantly reduced. He attended again on 8th November 2006 complaining of continuing shortness of breath, chest pain, a cough and haemoptysis. He was diagnosed with a chest infection. His condition persisted and on 9th November 2006 he was taken by ambulance to his local hospital. He was seen by a doctor there and discharged. On 13th November 2006, MM attended his GPs again. The GP wrote a referral letter to the local Chest Clinic stating that he considered pulmonary embolism as a diagnosis but the letter was never sent. MM attended his GP again on 20th November. No record of any clinical examination was recorded in the notes. MM died of a pulmonary embolism on 21st November 2006. A claim on behalf of MM’s family for his death was successfully pursued against the GP practice by Digby Brown.
Negative results from smear test meant cancer had a chance to develop before treatment
Ms B had a cervical smear taken in 2004. The smear test yielded cells, which were stained and placed on a slide, for microscopic examination. The cytology screener reviewed the slide and reported it as negative. In 2006 Ms B attended A & E with heavy abnormal vaginal bleeding. She was subsequently diagnosed as suffering from cervical cancer necessitating a radical hysterectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatment. It was argued on Ms B’s behalf that the cytology screener had in 2004 incorrectly reported the smear test as negative and that the slide had in fact shown abnormal cells. The slides should have been sent to a consultant cytopathologist for examination. Had that been done, Ms B would have been referred for investigation and treatment before cancer had the chance to develop. Digby Brown successfully pursued a claim on Ms B’s behalf for compensation.