When you seek medical advice from a doctor, they’ll often do a blood test to help identify the problem or to confirm their initial diagnosis. Blood tests are an important tool that can help ensure you receive the right treatment in a timely manner. Therefore, if a blood test is carried out incorrectly or the results are misinterpreted, your condition could worsen and cause you to suffer unnecessarily. In some cases, medical negligence relating to blood tests can be fatal.
In this guide to blood test medical negligence claims, we are going to explain your options if you’ve suffered avoidable harm. We will explain the types of negligence that could result in a medical negligence claim and also provide some guidance on what level of compensation you might receive if your claim is successful.
We specialise in personal injury and medical negligence compensation claims. Our initial telephone consultation and legal advice are both free. You aren’t under any obligation to proceed but if your claim does appear to be viable, we could appoint a medical negligence solicitor from our team to process your claim. They offer a No Win No Fee service to any client they take on, and as a result, you’ll find everything a little less stressful because you’ll know from the start that you won’t need to pay any solicitor’s fees unless you are compensated.
To start your claim for a negligence blood test right away, please call 0800 6524 881 to contact us. If you’d like more information on how blood test medical negligence claims work before calling, please read on.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For Blood Test Negligence?
- Types Of Blood Tests Conducted By Doctors
- Types Of Medical Negligence Relating To Blood Tests
- What Are The Consequence Of A Blood Test Gone Wrong?
- What Can I Claim Compensation For?
- How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Negligent Blood Test?
- How Long Do I Have To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?
- Do I Need A Solicitor To Make A Blood Test Medical Negligence Claim?
If you approach a medical negligence solicitor about a negligent blood test and ask them to represent you, they’ll want to clarify whether you have a strong enough case. When they review your claim with you, they’ll try to ascertain whether:
- The medical professional that treated you breached their duty of care towards you; and
- Because of that breach, you were made ill or an existing condition got worse (this is called causation).
The two statements above can both be tricky to prove and will require medical evidence. To help establish whether a doctor was to blame for your suffering, your solicitor will use independent medical experts to get proof. They will be similarly qualified to the defendant and will apply the Bolam test during their review.
The Bolam test asks whether a panel of medical professionals in the same field as the defendant would’ve acted differently given the same set of circumstances. If they would have, your case could proceed. If they agree with the way you were treated, though, you wouldn’t have the grounds to claim.
Doctors carry out blood tests for a variety of different reasons. They can be performed to:
- Check your general health.
- Test for infections.
- Check on how different organs like your kidneys or liver are functioning.
- Screen for a range of genetic conditions.
Some of the most common blood tests that are carried out include:
- Blood gases tests.
- Cancer blood tests.
- Blood sugar tests.
- Liver function tests.
- Blood typing tests.
- Full blood count.
- Coagulation testing.
- Thyroid function test.
Whatever type of blood test you’ve had, it was performed, assessed, or interpreted negligently, we could help you to claim.
Now let’s look at what types of negligence while taking blood could lead to a blood test medical negligence claim. Some examples include:
- Failure to use sterile equipment.
- Not taking enough care when inserting the needle.
- Failing to use an alcoholic swab prior to needle insertion.
- Needle stick injuries
Examples of negligence in the lab when dealing with a blood test include:
- Incorrect labelling of blood samples.
- Failing to keep blood samples at the right temperature.
- Mixing up patient’s blood samples.
- Delayed testing.
- Delayed reporting.
- Failure to follow quality control procedures.
- Using out-of-date products.
The final type of negligence that could cause problems is where the blood test was carried out properly and diagnosed correctly but the staff misread the blood test report
Whatever type of blood test you’ve had, we could help if it can be proven that you have suffered because of medical negligence at some point during the testing procedure. To find out more about your options, please call our team of specialists today.
As mentioned at the start of this guide, if a blood test goes wrong, it can cause serious problems for the patient. Regardless of whether the error originated at the time of drawing the blood, diagnosing the blood in the lab, or interpreting the test report, it can have drastic repercussions.
We’ve listed some of the problems and consequences that a blood test gone wrong could cause below:
- Where a blood test is delayed, diagnosis takes longer than it should, or the results are not returned to the doctor in a timely manner, the patient could suffer. It is important that blood tests are carried out as soon as possible to avoid any delay in potentially life-saving treatment. Any delays could cause the patient’s condition to worsen.
- Any mistake such as a sample mix-up, a misdiagnosis or misinterpretation can cause serious problems. For example, the patient could be treated for the wrong condition. While this might not cause any problems directly, the delay in receiving the correct treatment could lead to additional suffering. This might be the case if a cancer test is misinterpreted and therefore cancer is misdiagnosed, for instance. If that were to happen, the tumour could grow and require more invasive surgery than would’ve been necessary had the problem been diagnosed correctly. In some cases, the cancer could also become untreatable.
While we have listed some quite dramatic consequences here, you could claim for any type of suffering caused by blood test medical negligence. To discuss whether you have the grounds to start a claim, please contact our team straight away.
If you do make a claim for medical negligence during a blood test, the compensation you can claim will usually consist of two main elements:
- General damages can be claimed to cover the pain and suffering you have had to deal with, along with loss of amenity.
- Additionally, special damages could be claimed if you have lost money because of medical negligence. For example, you may be entitled to claim back any lost income, travel expenses, or care costs. Additionally, your medical negligence claims solicitor might ask for the defendant to pay for private medical treatment if it will aid your recovery.
During the claim, you will need a medical assessment to review how you’ve suffered and to obtain a prognosis. Therefore, your solicitor will try to book a local appointment so you won’t need to travel too far.
As there are numerous consequences from a negligent blood test, or a blood test gone wrong, it simply isn’t possible to say how much your claim could be worth in this guide.
Your solicitor would realistically only be in a position to provide an accurate estimation if your claim is taken on and once they have assessed everything that’s happened including how the negligent blood test has affected your life, physically, mentally, and financially.
In the UK medical/clinical negligence claims have a 3-year time limit for adults. This limitation period will commence from:
- The date of the blood test; or
- Your date of knowledge. This may apply if your suffering due to clinical negligence was not diagnosed until a later date.
If a child has suffered due to medical negligence, a litigation friend could claim compensation for them. If a litigation friend isn’t used, once the child turns 18 they can do so themselves but will have to do so in plenty of time before their 21st birthday.
Proving medical negligence can take some time. Therefore, we’d advise that you contact our team as soon as possible. By doing so, your solicitor will have as much time as possible to book appointments, contact medical specialists, collect evidence, and complete the other tasks required before filing your claim.
Importantly, if you would benefit from private medical care, your solicitor could ask for the cost of this to be paid in an interim payment before your claim has been finalised.
If you would like us to double-check when your time limit runs out, please call today and ask one of our specialists.
If you are claiming against a medical professional for a negligent blood test, your claim is likely to be handled by an insurer. For example, NHS claims are usually dealt with by NHS Resolution.
To receive compensation, you will need to prove both a breach of duty and causation. This can be difficult and is likely to require both legal and medical expertise. For that reason, we’d suggest your chances of winning your claim will improve if you have a medical negligence solicitor working for you.
If we take on your case, your solicitor will prepare a professional claim on your behalf. They will supply the correct evidence to try and prove how the medical professional caused you to suffer. If queries or concerns are raised by the defendant’s insurers, your solicitor will use additional evidence to counter them. They will do everything possible to try and make sure that you are fairly compensated.
If you’re ready to begin a claim with us, please get in touch on 0800 6524 881 today. If your blood test medical negligence claim is taken on, your solicitor could begin working on it right away.