Because we as patients trust them with our lives, we should be able rest assured that hospital theatre staff are dedicated to protecting our health and are properly educated and trained to operate medical equipment. Unfortunately, however, preventable failings do occur because of inadequate training, and patients consequently suffer injuries that could last a lifetime.
In one of our recent posts, we discussed a negligence claim launched against a London cosmetic surgeon who famously performed a breast enlargement operation on live television. The complaint against the surgeon is not in relation to that procedure but to a tummy-tuck surgery that the patient claims went wrong.
If you choose to undergo cosmetic surgery, then you undoubtedly expect the surgeon to warn you of any possible side effects or complications. Often patients must review and sign consent forms that describe such complications so that patients are fully aware of the risks. Individuals who undergo cosmetic surgery should also expect to have follow-up consultations with the surgeon to ensure that problems, if they arise, are properly monitored and addressed.
In one of our recent posts, we discussed an egregious surgical error that occurred at Royal Liverpool Hospital in Merseyside. A patient was in hospital for a minor urological procedure, but a surgeon mistakenly performed a vasectomy. You can read more about the incident here.
They are called "never events" for good reason, and the list of them is long but nonetheless shocking when you consider their devastating effects. In the medical field, never events include but are not limited to the following:
The question is whether or not publishing mortality data linked to individual surgeons has a positive or negative effect on patient safety. One might think that the positive effect would be two-fold: surgeons with high death rates would be held to account, and by accessing the data, patients could avoid certain surgeons.
Public debate has erupted around the increased number of contracts the National Health Service has awarded to private care providers in recent years. Along these lines, we discussed the clinical negligence claims related to 31 botched eye surgeries carried out by a private care provider in Somerset.
In the last two years, private healthcare providers have been awarded 70 percent of the contracts offered by the National Health Service. Along with this gradual privatisation of the NHS, serious concerns have been raised regarding patient safety.
Imagine the shock that many women received after they were sent letters informing them that their gynaecologist has been removed from the South London Healthcare Trust for performing unnecessary surgeries and removing the wrong organs during surgery. Many of these women have sought help from solicitors after they say they experienced inexcusable medical mistakes, potentially hoping to file negligence claims against the trust.
When a patient goes to hospital for surgery, he or she does not expect negligence. There are, after all, rules and procedures that are meant to prevent negligence in the surgical theatre. Yet all too often, Londoners find themselves recovering from surgical errors and mistakes and that medical negligence can be costly. When the mistakes are deadly, medical negligence can also leave families looking for answers.