Examples of Poor Medical Care and Medical Negligence Claims

Danielle Lowe
By Danielle Lowe

Danielle Lowe is the Marketing Manager for ConsultingRoom.com, (www.consultingroom.com) the UK’s largest aesthetic information website. 

Medical negligence claims have risen over the years. There are many different reasons for making a claim, but some cases are more surprising – even shocking – than others.

1 - foreign objects

Many of you will have heard tales of patients finding a remnant of a surgical procedure had been left inside after they were stitched up.

A report from The Joint Commission, a healthcare safety watchdog, catalogued 772 incidents of a foreign object being left inside patients between 2005 and 2012.

Although uncommon, such an occurrence can leave a patient in severe pain and cause potentially very serious infections, which probably means they have to be opened up again to remove it.

2 – cosmetic surgery malpractice

Poor outcomes or adverse complications from so-called 'botched cosmetic surgery' is a type of inadequate medical care for which people have claimed compensation in the past.

There are risks associated with all types of surgery but aesthetic or cosmetic surgery is often an elective choice, (rather than for a medical need), whereby someone wishes to look better and feel more confident; thus when things go wrong, the emotional, as well as the physical upset from any medical neglect can be significant.

Cases such as nerve damage as a consequence of face lift surgery, nipple loss or asymmetries from breast surgery and other poor surgical/aesthetic results or complications can all lead to a claim. Most cases reflect inadequate clinical practice or surgical skill.

There was a case in America where a 40-year-old lady had surgery for breast augmentation, and the surgeon failed to realise, (from her medical notes), that she was allergic to morphine; he duly gave it to her as pain relief. Furthermore, he left gauze inside her breast after surgery!

It later came to light that he had not performed breast surgery before and was not a qualified surgeon.

3 - amputation of the wrong limb/Removal of the wrong organ

There have been cases where doctors have amputated the wrong leg. In the year 2000, a 70-year-old man died when two surgeons removed the wrong kidney after doctors had looked at an x-ray back to front.

In 2013, a patient was left legless after a mistaken double amputation in a Brazilian hospital. One of the more common medical blunders of this type is during a visit to the dentist: the extraction of the wrong tooth, causing patients to have the right one removed at a later date.

4 - delayed treatment or medication

Some patients suffer because their doctors have failed to renew a repeat prescription when requested and the lack of required medication threatens wellbeing. An example is a patient with epilepsy having a fit due to not having timely access to their medication.

In 2014 a GP failed to diagnose cervical cancer after a patient had been in to see her GP 20 times. She was diagnosed only after she took herself to the hospital, and was told she only had two months to live.

5 - surgical fires

People don’t normally go in for surgery with the concern that they may catch on fire –although it is rare, there have been cases where medical negligence has caused patients harm from a fire during surgery.

In 2012, a patient suffered second-degree burns when an electronic scalpel caused his oxygen supply to explode.

In another case, a 74-year-old woman suffered second and third-degree burns when the alcohol-based disinfectant on her face caught fire from a cauterising tool.

6 - psychiatric malpractice

Medical negligence or malpractice is not limited to surgery cases. It can happen in a psychiatric ward or with a mental health practitioner who practices therapy in a way that breaches their duty of reasonable care. For example, there have been cases of suicides in a psychiatric ward, cases when a practitioner has abused their position by having sexual contact with their patients under the guise of ‘therapy’, and others when psychiatrists have failed to notice a developing condition.

What to do about medical negligence

Doctors and medical practitioners are highly skilled – they spend many years training to become a qualified practitioners, constantly retrain as new methods and cures are discovered and sometimes work unsocial hours.

This isn’t an excuse for when mistakes are made that completely change a patient’s life - A medical practitioner has a ‘duty of care’ to his/her patients. If they fail to comply with this duty you may have a right to make a formal complaint against the hospital or practitioner involved.

If you, or a family member, have suffered medical negligence you may be able to claim compensation. Some of these examples are extreme cases so you needn’t worry if your case is not severe – you could still be entitled to claim.

This post is sponsored by Claim 500.


If you want to read more, the experts at Consulting Room really know what they're talking about and have put together some facelift surgery and breast augmentation FAQs just for you. 

If you have more questions, you can use the facelift surgery and breast augmentation feature to talk to our panel of trained medical experts. 

If you're keen to get started with any of these treatments right away then you're in luck - those clever folks also have a list of trusted, accredited facelift surgery and breast augmentation clinics in your area.

More great blogs our experts wrote for you...

Everything You Need to Know About Pregnancy and Skincare


Everything You Need to Know About Pregnancy and Skincare

Pregnant women have to give up many things; manicures, hair colour and facials come to mind but there are actually very few limitations on cosmetic skincare!

Your Guide to Cosmetic Treatment Abroad


Your Guide to Cosmetic Treatment Abroad

Sun, sea, sand and surgery... Should I abroad for cosmetic surgery or treatment? It’s easy to be tempted by the idea but sadly, it’s not always as easy.

Your Guide to Cosmetic Treatment - Which Questions to Ask


Your Guide to Cosmetic Treatment - Which Questions to Ask

If you're seeking out a clinic for any kind of cosmetic treatment. You need to ask your practitioner these important questions...

Hey, wait!

Before you go.....

Let's stay in touch, pop your details here and we'll send our editor's hand-picked updates on your fave subjects.