What are the most common forms of medical negligence?

Published 07 Sep 2017

Have you suffered an injury or illness following medical treatment in Queensland? You may be eligible to pursue compensation for a range of economic and non-economic costs that you’ve incurred.

But proving negligence can be tricky; it’s not enough to show that a medical practitioner made a mistake. Doctors are forced into difficult decisions every day, and not every treatment is a complete success.

You must present evidence that your medical practitioner failed to provide reasonable care and didn’t use the appropriate level of skill expected from a professional of their standing. So what does that mean?

Medical negligence examples

Let’s take a look at some examples of medical negligence:

Informed consent failures

Medical practitioners have an obligation to inform you of the risks associated with any treatments they are proposing. If they fail to provide information that may have changed your mind about proceeding with treatment, this is a significant breach in their duty of care.

Informed consent is particularly problematic when English isn’t a patient’s first language.

Obstetric malpractice

Approximately half of all compensation paid out for medical negligence in Queensland is due to problems associated with childbirth, according to figures from the Courier-Mail.

Botched births cost the state $22 million in 2014-15, with obstetric malpractice resulting in significant payouts due to children sometimes needing lifetime care for serious injuries.

Nursing negligence

We estimate that approximately one-quarter of the medical negligence claims we encounter are due to shortcomings in nursing care. For example, nurses may fail to:

  • Regularly and adequately check on patients;
  • Appropriately administer medication;
  • Lift and move patients in a safe manner;
  • Diagnose serious illnesses that require immediate treatment, despite obvious symptoms.

Plastic surgery gone wrong

In April 2017, the Queensland government announced a review of cosmetic surgery laws in the state in order to provide more protection for people going under the knife.

This could mean plastic surgery that only requires low levels of anaesthetic must still be carried out on government-licensed properties, which is not currently the case. The changes could raise standards for the industry, resulting in more claims for cosmetic surgery negligence in Queensland.

These are just four examples of medical negligence that can occur, but if you’d like to learn more about Queensland’s personal injury laws, please get in touch with our team today to discuss your case.

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