Dermatology / Skin Cancer claims
The most common dermatology claims arise as the result of a delay in the correct diagnosis of skin cancer and adverse reactions to medications.
Other such cases can however include occupational dermatitis and complications following treatment such as Cryotherapy or Photochemotherapy.
Skin Cancer and Melanoma Misdiagnosis
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and it is an abnormal growth of skin cells which form a mass called a tumour. It normally develops on skin which has been exposed to the sun but can occur on areas not exposed to sunlight also.
There are a number of skin cancers which can develop over time, including:
The misdiagnosis of these skin cancers account for most of the dermatology related medical negligence cases in Ireland.
Examples of medical negligence relating to skin cancer include:
- Failure to identify changes to the size, shape and colour of a mole
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist for further investigations
- Failure to report on a cancer biopsy or test
- Failure to remove a cancerous lesion correctly
- Failure to diagnose symptoms of skin cancer before it spreads to other parts of the body.
Adverse Reactions to Medications
There can be a large spectrum of reactions associated with medication errors and it is important that the drug causing the reaction is identified quickly so as to alleviate and cease symptoms.
The most common cases arise from use of the following:
One of the most common treatments for acne is Isotretinoin (Roaccutane). There are however known complications with this treatment including for example dry skin, tiredness, muscle aches, pains, mood changes. As such, patients undergoing this type of treatment should be monitored for the development of any of these complications. Isotretinoin can also cause fetal abnormalities therefore careful monitoring and pregnancy prevention programmes should be established.
Methotrexate which is often used to treat acne and psoriasis. As in the case of Roaccutane, the use of Methotrexate may result in significant complications therefore it is important that patients are closely monitored.
Cryotherapy / Phototherapy
Cryotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy diseased tissue. It was often used to remove warts however is not as common as it has been in years gone by.
Complications of cryotherapy can result in conditions akin to frostbite and may leave a patient with scarring or a ring of warts around the wart that was to be treated in the first instance.
Overuse of PUVA (photochemotherapy) on the other hand can result in severe burns and may cause significant scarring requiring skin grafting.
Pyoderma Gangrenosum is a rare but serious condition that can causes large ulcers to develop on the skin, most often on the legs. The exact causes of Pyoderma Gangrenosum are unknown, but it appears to be a disorder of the immune system. Any delay in diagnosis and/or inappropriate treatment can have serious clinical consequences.
The consequences of a dermatology related medical negligence case can vary significantly in severity, from superficial scarring to severe ulceration and may even result in death, particularly in cases of misdiagnosed skin cancers.
Types of Medical Negligence Claims
Brain Injury Claims
Brain injuries can have a devastating effect on an individual and their family, particularly if the injuries are as a result of medical negligence. Brain injuries can be catastrophic and result in traumatic and life-changing injuries.
Stroke Misdiagnosis Claims
A stroke can occur when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off or reduced, preventing the brain tissue getting the oxygen it needs. Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential.
Birth Injury to Mother Claims
Unfortunately, when something goes wrong or where negligence occurs, before, during or after childbirth, it can result in very serious physical and psychological injuries.
Birth Injury to Baby Claims
Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Claims
Gynaecologists are doctors who specialise in investigating, diagnosing, and treating disorders of the female reproductive system.
Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor or medical professional fails to accurately diagnose a patient. It can arise when there has been a incorrect or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition such as cancer, meningitis, diabetes, heart disease or head injuries.
A&E Negligence Claims
A&E departments deal with many different types of medical emergencies. These departments are highly pressurised and emergency care can sometimes go wrong and cause serious injury to the patient. Accident and emergency claims can arise where negligent delay or incorrect medical treatment results in the patient suffering from illness or injury, which would not have occurred but for the negligent care.
Dental Negligence Claims
If your dentist has made a mistake or an error whilst treating or diagnosing a dental issue then you may have a claim for dental negligence.
Cauda Equina Claims
Cauda Equina Syndrome is a medical emergency and needs to be treated urgently to avoid long-term irreparable neurological damage. If your doctor has failed to recognise the symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome and failed to refer you for emergency treatment, then it is possible that you have a claim for medical negligence.
Surgical Injury Claims
Surgical negligence claims arise when mistakes occur during surgery which result in the patient being injured.
Spinal Injury Claims
Defective Medical Device Claims
Despite strict standards and rigorous testing of medical devices, sometimes products are defective and can cause serious personal injury. This may require a patient having to undergo further surgery to remove and replace the defective medical device.
Nursing Home Claims
Some of the most vulnerable in society reside in care homes and nursing homes and whilst most people who reside there receive an excellent level of care. There are exceptions, however, where failings in care by the staff who are responsible for caring for the vulnerable and elderly results in poor care and medical treatment which leads to injury and can tragically lead to death. This can result in a claim for medical negligence.
Covid 19 Claims
If you have suffered from unnecessary illness or harm because of a delay in accessing the required medical care, then you may have a claim for medical negligence.
GP’s play an important role in ensuring that patients are assessed appropriately, prescribed the correct treatment, and referred on for specialist care without delay.
If a GP makes a mistake which causes a patient to suffer unnecessary pain and financial loss, it may be possible to pursue a claim for medical negligence.