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What are the most common types of medical negligence cases?

During a visit to the doctors or an operation, the medical team usually does all they can to achieve the best outcome. However, sometimes accidents occur or negligence happens, which can be very stressful for everyone involved.

Medical negligence claims are made for various reasons and can be tricky to navigate. Complex cases may need to be reviewed and investigated thoroughly, so it is best to entrust this task to an expert with negligence claims experience.

Not only are cases often traumatic and sometimes life-changing for patients, but they can also take a toll on a medical professional’s emotional and financial health. It is therefore a good idea to seek the support of experts if you have been accused of negligence.

We have looked at where medical negligence typically occurs and the impact it can have.


A misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional fails to diagnose/incorrectly diagnoses a condition. A patient may have been prescribed the wrong treatment or none at all, resulting in their condition worsening or becoming life-threatening.

The conditions that are misdiagnosed may be serious. Cancer is often not recognised or diagnosed correctly, which can lead to it spreading or treatments and operations occurring even if the patient is healthy.

Diabetes is also frequently misdiagnosed, and the effects can be serious and dangerous. Meningitis is unfortunately another of the conditions that are sometimes not recognised or diagnosed incorrectly.

Surgical negligence

Errors and negligent post-surgical care can have serious health consequences.

Examples of this form of negligence include post-surgical infections, unnecessary amputations, the incorrect procedure being carried out, or a surgical instrument being left inside the patient.

One of the many guidelines set out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) details the standard of care that should be supplied to a patient following an operation.

Prescription error

A prescription error means the wrong dosage of medication was prescribed to a patient. It could also refer to the wrong medication entirely being given, such as one that includes an allergen the patient is susceptible to.

According to the British Medical Journal, over 237 million medication errors are made every year in England alone, costing 1,700 lives and an expense of almost £100m to the NHS.

Pregnancy & birth injuries

Many births are successful and occur without any issues. Although everyone on the team may do their best, the high-pressure environment means that sometimes things can go wrong. One example would be that a midwife may have failed to monitor the condition of the mum or baby sufficiently, leading to an injury.

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