Here are the main headlines that we’ve seen in the clinical negligence department this week. If you’ve been the victim of clinical negligence, or know someone who has, log on to www.claimtoday.com/negligence or call 08000 93 93 92.
King’s Mill Hospital apologises over stillbirth errors
Medical negligence claims relating to the treatment of sepsis are frequently in the news at the moment.
The BBC reported that Sherwood Hospitals Trust have carried out an investigation following concerns raised over a pregnant woman’s treatment for sepsis.
An investigation report found that the hospital failed to follow National Institute for Health Care and Excellence sepsis guidelines and that staff missed three chances to raise concerns about the baby’s condition to an on-call consultant.
According to her lawyers, the woman was sent home from hospital after her waters broke, but she was readmitted later that day after showing signs of sepsis. They say that tests carried out the next day showed her baby’s heart rate was abnormal and his condition deteriorated.
An emergency caesarean was performed but her son was born showing no signs of life and could not be resuscitated.
Sherwood Hospitals Trust said it had since made changes to its maternity services.
Russells Hall Hospital: Patient treated after ‘inspectors intervene’
The BBC also reported on another sepsis case, stating that “Health inspectors had to intervene to ensure a patient with sepsis received treatment during a routine visit at a struggling hospital.”
Staff at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley failed to properly monitor the patient, who was not given antibiotics for two hours. The CQC report said “the inspection team had to intervene to ensure a patient was reviewed and attended to as a matter of urgency.”
The health regulator said it was concerned by a lack of safety and leadership in the emergency department and rated its services as “inadequate”.
Ultrasound technique overcomes problems to diagnose the most common cancer in men
Finally, on a more positive note, the Guardian reports that scientists have announced the development of what could be an accurate and reliable technique for diagnosing prostate cancer. The Dundee University-based team say they have used an ultrasound process called shear wave elastography (SWE) to detect prostate tumours. The method is non-invasive and cheaper than current detection techniques.
SWE technology is already used in diagnosing breast cancer and liver diseases. However, to make it applicable to prostate cancer a special probe had to be developed by the team.
“The technique now needs to be tested in a much larger number of men to confirm just how well it can detect the aggressive cancers, while also ruling out those who do not have prostate cancer,” said Simon Grieveson, head of research funding at Prostate Cancer UK. “With an average of one man dying every 45 minutes from prostate cancer in the UK, the need for a more reliable test that can identify dangerous forms of the disease earlier is greater than ever.”