Dealing with hospital mistakes

Dealing with hospital mistakes Published by Marshall & Gibson Lawyers on the 24 August 2017

While accidents are a part of life, when it comes to medical care, mistakes can have debilitating consequences. Unfortunately, data from the World Health Organisation found that Australia has the highest rate of healthcare mistakes in the world. If you have placed your wellbeing in the hands of a hospital and they did not properly fulfil their duty of care, you may be able to make a claim.

Sydney man left on dialysis after hospital negligence

Medical negligence can turn a minor or routine hospital visit into a lifelong disability, as 67 year old father of three Joe Tomajek found out in 2011. As reported by the Daily Telegraph, Mr Tomajek went into a Sydney public hospital for a prostate procedure and had a cannula inserted in his arm to administer medication during his stay. Hospital staff neglected to change the tube every 48 hours as per best practice, leaving it for around two weeks. This caused a staph infection in Mr Tomajek's hip that put him in a 10-day coma.

"As a result of the infection they had to take my hip joint out, and now I can't walk without a crutch," he told the Daily Telegraph. "The infection also hammered my kidneys and so now I am on dialysis. I also take about 10 painkillers every day."

This case highlights how severe medical negligence can be, with a small mistake having the potential to result in life-altering consequences. A spokeswoman for NSW Health explained to The Daily Telegraph that this is why any case of negligence in health facilities must be taken seriously.

"When a serious incident or issue occurs, the circumstances are ­reviewed and appropriate changes are implemented to ensure preventable errors are avoided and the NSW public health system continues to provide the best possible care," she said.

Making a claim in case of hospital mistakes

Perhaps one silver lining for Mr Tomajek is the successful litigation case that resulted in him receiving compensation. If you become the victim of a hospital mistake, it's important that you know your rights to make a claim. This will allow you to be reimbursed for expenses such as medical costs and loss of income, as well as receive compensation for your suffering.

Having experienced legal representation can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim, as a lawyer will be able to help you negotiate the process and receive the appropriate hospital negligence compensation. Strict time limits apply for bringing claims so make sure you get in contact with the team at Marshall and Gibson Lawyers on 1800 675 417.