Emergency Medicine is demanding, often requiring difficult clinical decisions to be taken across the full spectrum of trauma and injury that can present involving any area of the body and patients of all ages. Problems can often arise due to system failures, inexperienced junior doctors being relied upon and poor liaising between A&E and other specialisms. When unacceptable errors arise the consequences can be serious for patients and their families.
Typical cases that arise include:-
- Failure by the ambulance service to take or convey an accurate history or to respond with adequate urgency to a 999 call.
- Failing to take a full and adequate history.
- Failing to properly examine and investigate a patient, in relation to fractures, including through radiology findings – commonly missed fractures include scaphoid and the neck of the femur.
- Not recognising/missing vascular nerve and tendon damage surrounding fractures dislocations and lacerations.
- Failings in radiology/imaging – in not commissioning an appropriate x-ray/CT/MRI scan or inadequate taking or misreporting of same.
- Mismanagement of patients with a head injury.
- Mismanagement of a patient with abdominal pain.
- Non recognition of heart attacks/strokes/DVTs/pulmonary embolisms/sub arachnoid haemorrhages.
- Non recognition of the early signs of serious illness in children.
Our team has experience of dealing with all aspects to emergency medicine including cases involving failings that have caused severe brain injuries giving rise to claims of maximum severity.