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What Is Medical Negligence?

If you have suffered because of medical error, you may wonder whether or not you have been the victim of medical negligence. In this article we explore what medical negligence means in more detail, helping you to understand whether you could be entitled to claim compensation for the damages you have sustained.

Medical negligence explained

Healthcare professionals are legally obliged to provide their patients with an acceptable level of care. This is known as a duty of care and applies to the entire medical profession, from dentists to doctors, and from nurses to community midwives. Ordinarily this duty of care is readily met, with patients receiving high quality care in both the private and public healthcare sector. However, there are sadly times when mistakes are made, causing a patient to suffer harm. This will amount to medical negligence if the following two points can be established:-

1. Breach of duty

To fulfil their duty of care, medical professionals must provide an acceptable level of care. If, however, the level of care falls below a standard considered reasonable by a responsible body of medical men, there will have been a breach of duty.

2. Causation

If this breach of duty causes a patient to suffer injury (either physical or psychological) that he or she would not have otherwise suffered, there will be a case of medical negligence.

Medical negligence and Cauda Equina Syndrome

To help clarify the above explanation, we have used the example of negligently managed Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) to demonstrate how medical negligence might happen in practical terms:-

When diagnosing and treating CES, a responsible body of medical men would expect medical professionals to take the following course of action:-

If these steps are not taken, the standard of care will have fallen to an unacceptable level. This represents a breach of duty. Because CES is a medical emergency that requires urgent treatment, it is likely that a breach of duty will result in an injury that could otherwise have been avoided. For example, a patient may be left with permanent neurological problems that he or she would not have suffered had their condition been diagnosed and treated in the early stages.

Claiming for Cauda Equina negligence

If you think you have suffered from Cauda Equina medical negligence, you need to speak to the Cauda Equina Solicitors. Our legal experts will be able to advise whether or not you are able to make a claim and, if so, how to obtain compensation for the damages you have sustained.

Please call us free on 0800 234 3300, from a mobile click to call 01275 334030 or complete our Free Online Enquiry for a no cost, no obligation opinion.

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