Your health can be placed at risk if the hospital you are admitted to is negligent in your care. You should consult a personal injuries solicitor for guidance because medical negligence is a complex topic in Irish law.*
Legal regulation and accountability for medical care in hospitals around Ireland has improved. To be successful in your hospital negligence claim, you will need to prove that a medical practitioner was negligent in your care. This could involve a medical professional showing poor judgment or failing to diagnose an illness.
Accident & emergency claims
A&E (Accident & Emergency) injury claims generally happen after a doctor fails to diagnose an issue or makes a mistaken diagnosis. They can also result from a delay in diagnosis that causes a patient’s condition to deteriorate or reduces the patient’s likelihood of survival.
With almost 2 million people attending A&E units across Ireland each year, mistakes can be made. It is hardly surprising that multiple medical negligence claims arise. If you have had a misdiagnosis or other negligent experience in A&E, you may be entitled to make a claim for the injuries you suffered.
C. Difficile claims
A Clostridium difficile (also known as “C. difficile” or “C.diff”) infection is a bacterial infection that affects the digestive system. C. Diff infections may be contracted in hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices. If medical negligence has meant that you contracted C. difficile, we could help you claim financial damages. Older and vulnerable people with underlying illnesses are more susceptible to the infection. Precautions that reduce the chances of C. difficile spreading include:
- Washing hands regularly with soap and water (alcohol hand gel does not work against C. difficile)
- Using disposable gloves and aprons when caring for C. difficile patients
- Giving C. difficile patients their own toilet facilities
- Using water and bleach to clean any surfaces that may be contaminated with the bacteria
Orthopaedic negligence claims
Orthopaedic negligence claims can arise following a range of procedures, including the following:
- Back surgery
- Hand, shoulder and elbow surgery
- Joint reconstruction
- Paediatric orthopaedics
- Foot and ankle surgery
- Surgical sports medicine
- Orthopaedic trauma
- Musculoskeletal oncology
Orthopaedic negligence claims generally happen because an orthopaedic surgeon was negligent. This breach of duty of care can result in:
- Delays in identifying fractures
- Surgery in the wrong site
- Issues arising during hip, knee or elbow replacement
- General surgical errors
- Post-operative infection
- No consent to surgery being secured
- Equipment malfunction
- Nerve damage
MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a type of bacteria that is often called a superbug because it is highly resistant to antibiotics. It can cause blood poisoning, pneumonia, and even death. If you or a loved one has contracted MRSA because of a hospital’s negligent hygiene standards, an experienced solicitor could help you claim financial damages for the infection. MRSA can happen if the hospital staff fail to:
- Cover open wounds
- Screen other patients for MRSA
- Disinfect possibly contaminated surfaces and objects
- Follow hygiene protocols
Pressure sore claims
Healthcare providers have a duty of care to protect the health of their patients. Breaching this duty of care could result in service users sustaining pressure sores from lying or sitting in one position for too long. If left untreated, these kinds of lesions can become infected and cause serious health problems.
Pressure sores are often called bedsores and appear as skin ulcers. They are common among those with restricted mobility who are confined to a chair or bed for extended periods of time.
People at risk of pressure sores should be examined regularly to ensure their care prevents prolonged pressure. Sores are classified from category one to category four, which is the most severe, with the wound reaching the underlying bone and muscle.
Blood Poisoning (Septicaemia)
Blood poisoning or septicaemia is also known as sepsis. It is a life-threatening reaction to an infection that occurs when your immune system overreacts and starts to damage your body’s tissues and organs.
Patients may become infected during a medical or surgical procedure due to poor sterilisation of surgical instruments or lack of hygiene. If you can establish that negligent medical treatment caused your sepsis, you may be able to claim.
You may also have a valid claim if a healthcare professional such as your GP failed to correctly diagnose your condition. Sepsis can progress swiftly, so urgent care is required in the form of antibiotics. A delayed diagnosis could even result in death.