Urology Awareness Month
September is Urology Awareness Month which is organised by The Urology Foundation to raise awareness of urological diseases.
Their ultimate aim being to get the nation talking about prevention, treatment and management of issues that affect the kidney, urinary tract and male reproductive system, such as cancer, infertility, incontinence and erectile dysfunction and breakdown stigma surrounding such urological conditions.
According to The Urology Foundation, it is estimated that 1 in 2 of us will be affected by a urology condition in our lifetime. Whilst a lot of this occur due to natural diseases, a proportion of people end up with life changing urological problems as a result of medical negligence. Negligence is when the standard of care provided to a patient falls below the standard of a reasonable body of practitioners. We will often obtain independent expert medical reports to assist us in determining whether or not a particular act or omission surrounding a patient’s care is negligent.
One of the common urological injuries that we come across involves bladder and urinary tract injuries following obstetrical and gynaecological surgeries. Such urological injuries are a known complication of obstetrical and gynaecological surgeries because of their location and proximity to the reproductive organs. Surgeons performing caesarean section or any other gynaecological procedures must take great care and remain vigilant during the operation so that if and when an injury does occur, it is repaired immediately. Sometimes the actual injury cannot be avoided but the delay in the diagnosis or improper treatment after the surgery results in serious urological complications.
Often the urological complications result in a prolonged recovery period requiring care and treatment in the intensive care unit and subsequent procedures under general anaesthetic such as insertion of nephrostomy tubes into the kidneys or ureter re-implantation. If urological injury is not diagnosed and treated properly, it can lead to long term urological problems with life changing and devastating effects and can even result in death. Such injuries not only impact the patients physically but it can also have a profound psychological impact for one reason or another. For example requiring treatment in intensive care is likely to be a very frightening experience for the patient or a new mum may feel that as a result of her prolonged recovery she missed out on precious time with her new born baby.
We have investigated and successfully concluded cases of avoidable urological injuries occurring as a result of negligence. Amongst other cases, we have dealt with cases that involve injuries to the ureter and bladder following routine gynaecological operations such as hysterectomy as well as births by caesarean section.