Mothers' Instinct Stops Medical Oversight Developing Into Life-Threatening Condition


The Law Of... trusting your instincts in medical emergencies

After taking her daughter to an Accident & Emergency department and receiving unsatisfactory advice, our Lisa Wright – part of the complex personal injury team at Simpson Millar – explains how trusting her own instincts and getting a second opinion avoided a medical disaster.

Mother and Daughter

Taking A Loved One To Hospital

Whenever you, or a loved one, receive medical advice or treatment there is an assumption of trust between patient and medical professional.

Patients place an enormous amount of trust in medical professionals and in the vast majority of instances this trust is well-founded and treatment is administered without any complications.

Despite this, mistakes do happen and there are instances that see medical professionals prescribing the wrong treatment or giving an incorrect diagnosis, as Lisa found out herself very recently.

Explaining her recent experience, Lisa said:

"I took my 6-year-old daughter to a local Accident and Emergency department, as she was complaining of tummy cramps – she was flushed, but had no temperature and felt quite bloated."

"Having a history of constipation, after a brief chat and examination I was told to increase her medication for the constipation and allowed home."

"The following day there was no change. My instincts told me that something was not quite right and in the early evening I took my daughter to the Accident & Emergency department at a different hospital."

"After an initial chat and a quick examination the staff leaped into action; X-rays were undertaken, the surgical team were called, and I was advised within half an hour from arrival at hospital that my daughter would need emergency surgery, as her colon had twisted."

"I was further advised that had it been left another 12-24 hours it would have perforated. It doesn’t bare thinking about the consequences of this happening."

"Luckily, my daughter is making a slow, but steady recovery, having had 3 major operations in 3 weeks; however, this could have been a completely different story had I not trusted my own instincts."

Reporting Medical Negligence

In the immediate aftermath of medical negligence, it can feel like the all-important trust between professional and patient will never be restored.

Making a complaint and seeking reparation for any negligent treatment or advice is one way to ensure that any mistakes are addressed and any loss is compensated for.

Lisa explains:

"Medical professionals – with all the good will in the world – do sometimes get it wrong and make mistakes, which can lead to unnecessary pain and suffering."

"In these circumstances you should make a complaint to the NHS; you may also wish to consider claiming compensation from the NHS to mitigate any of the loss or trauma caused by the medical negligence."

For a claim to be successful, the law requires proof that:

  • The standard of care, treatment, or advice provided by a medical professional was not at a reasonably acceptable level
  • The level of care, treatment, or advice provided by a medical professional caused, or had the potential to cause, physical or psychological harm

Getting Legal Advice

Due to the legal technicalities that are involved with medical negligence claims, it is advisable to seek legal advice before undertaking a claim.

Claims can be made for various factors in the aftermath of medical negligence; this includes physical and emotional trauma and any expenses that are caused directly by negligent treatment or advice.

Getting help with your medical complaint can speed up the time it takes to resolve the matter and can ensure that fair compensation is awarded in an acceptable timeframe.

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