The big cases are often seen in the news headlines, however it is smaller instances of medical misdiagnosis and negligence that often go unreported and in some cases, the victims are unaware they have experienced it at all.
From out of date or incorrect advice, prescribing the wrong medication or failing to listen to all of the patient’s concerns or symptoms, minor misdiagnosis may seem insignificant at first.
“In our experience we often see what would be thought of as a small medical error which results in bigger issues for the patient down the road.” says Blumers lawyer, Ben Jullienne.
“One example of this is a client who had discussed symptoms suggestive of heart disease with his local GP. He was sent home, without even having his blood pressure monitored. Within hours, the client suffered a stroke which lead to pretty severe damage” says Jullienne.
General Practitioners are among the most common o enders for medical negligence cases due to the broad range of knowledge required and the pressures of having many appointments booked each day. It has also been suggested that the duration of doctor’s appointments is not long enough to adequately cover a person’s medical history and concerns. In addition to this, the days of having a family GP are said to be all but gone.
“With today’s transient workforce, GP’s may not have a person’s full medical and family history, or the time to go over it thoroughly with their clients. Family history can be a key in identifying and adequately treating many health issues.” adds Jullienne.
So what should you do if you think you have experienced medical negligence? Jullienne encourages people to seek a second medical opinion if they feel their medical practitioner has been dismissive. Gaining legal advice from someone experienced in medical negligence cases is another option.
“Clients are often not fully aware that they can make a claim for medical misdiagnosis or for negligent medical care. I believe Doctors genuinely try and help people and most do a fantastic job however mistakes in the medical profession are definitely more common than you’d think.” says Jullienne.