The importance of records in medical negligence claims

Australian nurses and doctors are some of the best in the world, but sometimes they make mistakes.

When the unthinkable happens and you are forced to file a negligence claim, how you keep records will be extremely important to winning the case.

When the unthinkable happens...

When the unthinkable happens…

 

In most medical negligence cases, medical records play a massive part in being able to establish (during the investigation stage) whether you have a strong case or not.

Most cases rely on the careful analysis of the claimant patient’s medical records to determine the eventual failure or success of the case. Without a complete understanding of your records, there is a very real danger that the case will not be properly recognised or let alone succeed.

Here are two things to remember:

Ensure the medical records are a full set.

Often records are frequently missing and from hospitals in particular.  In most cases, especially the more complex ones, documents are missing. We recommend you press for the entire set and pressure the hospital to look for missing files. It can be surprising how records eventually turn up when pushed for them.

Press for additional records.

Another class of documents that can assist with a negligence case is internal inquiry/complaints documents. Although not strictly speaking medical documents, these often contain internal witness statements and reports. These type of documents often hold absolutely vital information for the investigation of a potential claim.

Remember, the content of your medical records is fundamental to the success of your potential negligence case.  Hold onto everything and don’t be afraid to put the pressure on.

It’s the key to claim success.

 

 

 

 

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Medical Negligence Sees QLD Woman Loose Kidney

Imagine being operated on then having the wrong organ removed.

You wake up groggy and sans Kidney.

How would you react? How should the surgeon be punished? And what’s fair?

These were questions raised after a recent case of medical negligence struck at Queensland’s Rockhampton Hospital.

Is surgery safe from negligence?

Is surgery safe from negligence?

Queensland Health announced recently that Doctor Antonio Vega Vega had stood down after mistakenly removing the wrong kidney from a patient. What was even more worrying is that Vega Vega was also involved in three other incidents over the past 18 months.

The Spanish-trained urologist has voluntarily stepped down from his position at the Rockhampton Hospital.

Health Board Chairman Charles Ware was forced to reassure patients the hospital was doing everything to rectify the situation: “We have gone through the surgeon’s records and we have located a total of four adverse clinical incidents,” Charles Ware was quoted as saying.

The Member for Keppel Bruce Young defended the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Board, which took over management of Rochampton Hospital two years ago.

“The board has been very effective in Rockhampton where they’ve made in-roads into public health and that’s one of the things that I am concerned about,” he told the ABC’s Jacquie Mackay.

“My concern is that the long term ramifications of this incident; I hope it doesn’t put a stigma on Rockhampton where people may think, there’s good surgeons who may not want to come here.”

However the Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne says locals have the right to be worried about the safety standards of the hospital.

“It really is now a matter for the board and the Health Minister to get on the front foot, finalise these matters as rapidly as possible and start, what I believe, is going to be a substantial journey to rebuild public confidence in the hospital,” he said.

It is reported that the woman who had her kidney unnecessarily removed will be on dialysis for the rest of her life.