Every medical procedure has risks, whether it is an invasive or non-invasive treatment. This does not mean that people should be warned off undergoing surgery altogether – on the contrary, many operations are life-saving or have the potential to greatly improve lives. However, patients should be made fully aware of the risks prior to giving their consent to treatment.
Some operations can have miraculous results. For example, laser eye surgery has the potential to restore a person’s sight so that they no longer need corrective lenses. However, this form of treatment requires a high level of specialist skill and if you are injured due to the negligent actions of the professional, you may have grounds for a clinical negligence claim.
If you have been suitably warned about the risks of having the procedure performed, and something has gone wrong, your surgeon has a stronger chance of avoiding liability than if he or she had failed to make you aware of the dangers.
However, if your clinician underplayed the risks of the operation – a Which? study conducted in 2009 found three well-known laser eye clinics had done this – then you could stand a higher chance of securing compensation.
“Patients need to understand what the risks are,” says the Medical Defence Union.
The organisation added, “they need to think about whether or not the benefits they think they will get from the procedure actually outweigh the risks, in order to decide whether they want to go ahead with it.”
Furthermore, if clinical negligence results in you suffering long-term problems, such as corneal ectasia, you may be entitled to claim compensation for these injuries.
Potential problems caused by incorrectly performed laser eye surgery include dry eyes, sometimes resulting in chronic eye inflammation, reduced night vision, the appearance of ‘floaters’ and blindness.
12th August 2019
In 2018, official figures showed the waiting list for an NHS operation was over 4.3 million patients long. To put this into context, if we were to print this off, assuming an average of 50 patients per page, and laid end to end, the list would be 23 kilometres long (or 14 miles) – enough to stretch from our office in Brighton to Worthing (via the A27).
9th August 2019
You may be surprised (and somewhat perturbed) to hear the true scale of healthcare ‘adverse events’ in the UK – these are defined as “instances which indicate or may indicate that a patient has received poor quality care”. Continue reading »
4th July 2019
In two recent articles we looked at the law and procedures of Coronial Inquests in some detail. Our first article, ‘What happens at an Inquest (and other frequently asked questions)’ gave an overview of the Inquest procedure. During the course of this blog we asked, and provided answers to, questions such as, ‘When is an Inquest required?’, ‘What is the purpose of an Inquest?’, ‘What will happen at an Inquest?’ and a number of other common issues that face those involved in the Inquest procedure. Continue reading »
26th June 2019
The death of a loved one is probably the most traumatic, harrowing experience any human being will experience in their lifetime. Not only is there a period of unimaginable grief, suffering and uncontrollable feelings of sadness and loss to go through, but in addition there are a wealth of practicalities that have to be dealt with – a funeral to be arranged, finances to be sorted out, fellow grieving relatives who need supporting and potentially, sales of property and effects to be dealt with. Continue reading »
24th May 2019
No amount of money can compensate for the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, but it can at least soften the financial blow. In one case, the widow and four children of a man who was struck down by a hit-and-run driver achieved a seven-figure settlement of their claim. Continue reading »