Accident and Emergency compensation claims can arise when Doctors or other A & E staff fail to make a correct diagnosis or referral. Over 1.5 million patients attend Emergency Departments in hospitals throughout Ireland each year. Studies have shown that initial misdiagnosis of illness and injuries in Emergency Departments can result in medical negligence claims.
It is the Senior House Officer (SHO) grades that are the grades that evaluate and treat the majority of patients presenting at Emergency Departments. Emergency medicine is responsible for nearly 15% of all medical negligence claims.
Medical negligence cases can be complex and often injury can be sustained through non-negligent complications following treatments. These do not give rise to any legal cause of action for compensation.
The Clinical Indemnity Scheme operated by the State Claims Agency previously carried out a study which found that nearly 60% of errors had their primary root cause specifically related to status/knowledge/competence.
Many other common A & E errors can be as follows:
- Inadequate physical examination leading to misdiagnosis
- Failure to refer to the x-ray department
- Failure to diagnose fractures
- Failure to or order diagnostic tests and scans
- Failure to properly interpret x-rays
- Failure to diagnose acute conditions
- Failure to diagnose symptoms of serious illness
- Failure to diagnose emergency medical injuries including brain haemorrhage
- Prescribing wrong medication
- Not treating symptoms while waiting on the result of tests
- Poor follow up advice.
Time limits for submitting medical negligence claims?
The time limit for issuing proceedings for alleged Medical Negligence is two years from the date on which the injury was sustained or the cause of action was known. This is governed by the Statute of Limitations Act. In some cases a later time period applies when an injury was not known to have been caused by medical negligence. In those circumstances once the injuries have been diagnosed and can be related to negligence on the part of a hospital/doctor then the two year period runs from that date. Expert legal advice should be sought in all cases where there is a doubt regarding the application of the statute of limitations.
Moloney & Company, Solicitors have acted on behalf of many patients who were injured as a result of Hospital Accident and Emergency negligence. Our specialist medical negligence Solicitor will fully investigate your treatment to determine whether you have a cause of action for compensation or not. This will involve obtaining an independent medical report to confirm whether there was a breach in the standard of care given that lead to the injury complained of or a worse outcome than would have been the case if the proper standard of care had been provided.
*In contentious business a Solicitor may not charge fees as a percentage of an award of damages or a settlement sum received*.
*This article has not been written to promote the taking of legal claims against hospitals or their insurers but is written as a commentary on how injuries can occur through negligence in Emergency Department settings and in breach a standard of care required under Irish Law for such treatments.