Case studies

Signs of cauda equina

1 August 2010

A patient attended his GP with back pain and numbness

Testicular atrophy

1 August 2010

Infarction of the right testicle could have had a number of causes

medication errors
A bad case of indigestion

21 May 2010

A GP faced a claim following the death of a patient from upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage. The patient had previously presented with epigastric pain and the family alleged his death could have been prevented if the GP had made an early referral for endoscopy.

Delay diagnosing appendicitis

21 May 2010

A father brought a claim against a GP following the delayed diagnosis of appendicitis in a child who presented with symptoms consistent with a gastrointestinal viral infection. It was alleged that the diagnosis could have been made earlier had the GP conducted a rectal examination.

Steroid-induced glaucoma

1 March 2010

Long-term prescribing of steroids for atopic eczema resulted in glaucoma. Delay in referring patient after visual symptoms developed caused severe visual impairment.

Repeat prescribing

14 January 2010

A practice with 10,000 patients may issue as many as 25,000 repeat prescriptions each year. A routine and repetitive task, it is one in which mistakes can easily be made and from which a significant percentage of MDU claims arise.

Persistent knee trouble

21 May 2009

A GP faced a claim for allegedly failing to refer a 12 year old boy who presented repeatedly with knee pain over an eighteen month period. The child was eventually diagnosed with a slipped femoral epiphysis and was left with some deformity following surgical fixation.

Image of Ancient Greek depiction
A claim comes out of the past

1 May 2009

An Irish doctor faced a claim brought by a patient who developed chronic and intractable pain following a vasectomy. The patient alleged that the doctor had failed to warn him of the risk of long-term pain and that he would not have agreed to the procedure had he been fully informed.

Image of a depressed teenager
A complaint out of time?

1 May 2009

A GP sought help from the MDU in dealing with a patient’s complaint made some four years following the events complained of. The patient alleged she had become dependent on antidepressants prescribed inappropriately by the GP following the loss of her mother.

Packets of tablets
A covert matter

1 May 2009

A GP practice sought advice from the MDU on the legal and ethical implications of administering medicines to elderly nursing home residents without their knowledge.