Case Study

Retained Medical Object

Case Type: Medical Negligence
Injury: Retention of Surgical Device*
Settled by: Paul W Tracey
Settled on: 26th June, 2018
Retained Medical Object

Case Summary

Incident

The client gave birth to her daughter on the 24/08/2016 and was sent home from the hospital. She had an uncomfortable feeling of pressure all that day and when she woke up that night to use the bathroom she got a strong pain and an urge to push. She could see a foreign object coming from her vagina. She initially thought she was haemorrhaging. She called her mother to come and help her after retrieving the object that had at this stage fallen out of her. They had no idea what the object was. She called the hospital and they advised her to go in immediately and to bring her baby too.

After spending a night in the hospital they confirmed that it was a medical tampon which had been left inside her since the birth of her daughter that had caused the aforementioned events to take place. She had suffered a first degree tear and the medical tampon had been used to stem blood flow from the uterus and maintain operative field visibility. She was given antibiotics and sent home. The advice was to go back in a week and when she returned she was told she was given the wrong antibiotics and would need to be put on another course of antibiotics. Samantha was concerned about the fact that she could have potentially suffered infection within the uterine cavity or more severely Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Case Progression

Proceedings were instigated on the 11/06/2018.

Case Settlement

The case was settled in the Circuit Court on the 26/06/2018. The case was settled in our favour as we had argued the point that this substandard treatment in terms of the medical tampon retention during the course of the repair was a never event.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I make a medical negligence claim*?

    The process on how to make a claim for medical negligence* in Ireland is different when compared to other personal injury claims. Personal injury claims, in general, are first passed through the Injuries Board for assessment, before they reach a court hearing. Medical negligence claims* on the other hand, are brought straight to court and are not assessed by the Personal Injuries Board.

    If you do feel like you are subject to medical malpractice*, you can take the following steps to proceed with your medical negligence claim*:

    • Record the date and time of the incident and the details of the type of care received.
    • Retain any medical records relating to the incident.
    • Take a photo of any visible injuries sustained as a result.
    • Gather any additional relevant information on the medical procedure that was carried out incorrectly.
    • Contact a medical negligence solicitor*.
  2. What can be included in my claim*?

    Following a medical negligence claim*, the outcomes to a case are based on circumstances incurred from medical negligence*. These are known as damages:

    General Damages

    Non-financial damages include; pain and suffering, physical and emotional damage, loss of quality of life, and loss of opportunity.

    Special Damages

    These refer to out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the malpractice. For example, loss of earnings and future earnings (if you were out of work), current and future medical bills, care fees, costs of adapting a home, physiotherapy fees, and fees for medical equipment / ongoing medication needed.

    Conclusions to medical negligence case* will depend on certain factors like:

    • Medical History: If you have experienced similar medical issues in the past.
    • Long-term effects of your injury/illness: This comes down to the estimated lifespan of both people. For example, an 18-year-old person that suffered a lifelong injury or illness may be awarded more than an 80-year-old person who suffered an injury/illness.
    • Type of injury or illness sustained: Injuries arising from medical negligence range from minor to major. The types of injury sustained will be considered within legal proceedings*.
  3. How long do I have to make a medical negligence claim*?

    When taking into account how long medical negligence claims take, it is important to remember that medical negligence cases* require certain time frames in place within which you can bring a claim. For medical neglect claims*, it is two years less a day following the date of the incident or 2 years less a day following the date that a person made the connection that their illness or injuries were a result of medical negligence*.

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