Medical Negligence*

Never Event Claims*

Never Events by their very nature should never happen. Despite this, they do occur and it is critical that individuals who are affected receive adequate medical treatment to minimize the negative consequences.

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The term ‘Never Event’ refers to circumstances in which a patient suffers substantial harm due to a situation that could have been avoided. We have been dealing with an increasing incidence of these type of cases and when they happen, they can seriously harm patients who may already be having medical difficulties or complications. These ‘Never Events’ as the title suggests should not happen if proper protocols and safety procedures have been followed.

Common Causes of the Never Event

Never events cover a wide range of scenarios and procedures.

A patient who suffered as a result of a never event inevitably ends up dealing with the matter in addition to dealing with the issue which caused them to seek medical treatment in the first place. This can be extremely stressful for patients who are already ill or who are suffering from an emergency medical issue.

Never event medical negligence may be split into the following categories (these are not exhaustive):

Surgical:

  • Wrong-site surgery claims, where a surgeon performs an operation on the wrong part of the body.
  • Wrong implant/prosthesis allegations, such as the contraceptive device being implanted in the wrong arm or an implant being implanted in the incorrect part of the body.
  • Retained surgical instrument claims (RSI claims) occur when the medical staff inadvertently leave behind a surgical instrument in the patient’s body following a surgery.

Medication Events:

  • Improper drug administration, such as giving the wrong dosage, using the incorrect equipment or technique, or distributing the medicine to the wrong part of the body.
  • High-risk injectable drug that has been improperly prepared.
  • Chemotherapy administered incorrectly.
  • Oral/enteral therapy administered incorrectly.

General Healthcare:

  • A risk assessment error leads to a patient falling from an improperly restricted window or bed railing.
  • Failure to implement a working collapsible shower or curtain rail in order to prevent a fatality by suicide.
  • Misplacement of naso-gastric tubes, which supply fluids and nutrients to patients who are unable to eat or drink.
  • Due to a lack of compatibility testing, incorrect blood transfusions result in ABO compatibility reactions.
  • An air flowmeter is accidentally connected to a patient who requires oxygen.
  • Scalding of a patient as a result of negligent care when washing the patient.

Mental Health:

  • Failure to construct a functional collapsible shower or curtain rail in order to prevent death by suicide.

Maternity:

  • Maternal death due to post-partum haemorrhage after elective Caesarean section.

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Our helpful team

Need Help? Just Ask.

For more information and a confidential discussion on your medical negligence claim, call Elaine Hickey, Head Medical Negligence Solicitor, on +353 1 649 9900 and tell her about your medical malpractice case or reach out via email to ask@traceysolicitors.ie and she can call you back.

How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist medical negligence solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Speak with a solicitor

    If you feel that you were not provided with appropriate medical treatment whilst under the care of a medical professional which resulted in injury due to the actions or in-actions of a medical professional, then speaking with a medical negligence solicitor following the injury is imperative. Medical negligence is a complex topic in Irish law. Speak to a medical negligence solicitor when bringing a claim forward. This ensures that no essential steps are missed throughout the legal process. Bringing a claim forward without having spoken to a solicitor can delay your claims procedure. A solicitor can help to determine your medical negligence time limit claim.

  2. Obtain medical records

    In order to make a claim, it must be established and proven that the injury sustained was caused by the medical negligence of the doctor or medical staff tasked with your medical care. Therefore, after having spoken with you about your case, your solicitor will then request access to your medical records. At this stage, the solicitor will have your medical records assessed by an independent medical expert. This will help determine whether a surgeon or medical staff who treated you had, in fact, administered substandard medical care and if negligence was the cause of the injury and if your injuries/outcome could have been avoided if the appropriate level of medical care had been adhered to.

  3. Letter of Claim

    If the independent medical expert has concluded that medical negligence has occurred, then your solicitor will draft a Letter of Claim to the medical practitioner who treated you. A Letter of Claim will outline the nature of your case and invites the medical practitioner to settle your case. The next steps involved are heavily dependent on your case and response to your Letter of Claim and will determine whether your case will be brought to court or settled outside of court. Your solicitor will be on hand every step of the way to guide you through this process.

At Tracey Solicitors, our dedicated medical negligence solicitors have years of experience in helping people deal with traumatic medical injury claims. We understand the injuries, both physically and emotionally, that you have suffered and have supported and helped many people in similar situations proceed with medical negligence claims in Ireland over the past 30 years.

For more information and a confidential discussion on your medical injury claim, phone 01 649 9900 or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case, where you can speak with a member of our team straight away.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a medical negligence claim you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses, you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a medical negligence injury.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the medical negligence injury, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital) and future care costs. Learn more about Special Damages.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim, which can vary depending on the situation. 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 negligence claims it is two years less a day following the date of the incident or two years less a day following the date that a person made the connection that their illness or injuries were a result of medical negligence. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Medical Negligence Involving Children

In an unfortunate incident where a child is subject to medical negligence, the process of making a claim differs from that of an adult. A minor may be in a position to bring a claim forward in the first two years following their 18th birthday.

Learn more about Legal Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors

We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

Contact Us

Our friendly and experienced team are waiting to answer your call. Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

+353 1 649 9900

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