Good clinical outcome? Everything has to be right!

Posted on: April 12th, 2016

Very few clinical treatments are simple and straightforward. Just like your car, even making the shortest of journeys requires your vehicle to work. If you break down, sometimes it’s a major component, but then again a small part of the big machine can upset everything and stop you from getting to where you are going. The same can be said of many clinical treatments. The major treatments can be provided, but if another part of the care machine isn’t working, the outcome can be catastrophic.

Recently, a cancer patient died after nurses failed to replace his drip for two days. George Griffin, 71, was admitted to hospital with dehydration in 2011. His IV drip at Walsall Manor Hospital, West Midlands, was removed. He was unable to pass fluid for 48 hours and suffered a fatal heart attack. George, the former factory foreman, who had been battling bladder cancer, was hooked up to an IV drip at Walsall Manor Hospital, West Midlands, to regulate his fluid.

Here there was no question that the correct treatment for cancer was not being provided. But the health machine being as complex as it is requires more than just the main treatment to be provided correctly. What may be considered a small oversight can have dire consequences.

In a clinical negligence claim what must a victim prove? Initially it must be shown that the treatment provided would not be considered appropriate by any reasonable body of practitioners. When we at Coffin Mew investigate such cases, we need to review the medical treatment and make sure we are asking the correct questions of the correct practitioners. In a case such as this, you can use an independent Oncologist to report on whether the correct cancer treatments were provided. But also you must remember that the management of a patient on the ward lies with nurses and it is that specialism that you can ask the question of whether the correct basic care has been provided.

When faced with complaining about medical treatment we would recommend speaking with a specialist in Clinical Negligence. Through our practice we have investigated hundreds of varied procedures. Making a good complaint with the right questions can reveal the information needed to see if a true medical blunder was made and if compensation can be sought.