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Medical Negligence Claims – Gynaecology
Whereas Obstetrics is defined by everything to do with childbirth, Gynaecology is a very broad discipline that covers all aspects of the female reproductive system.
Negligent treatment could concern the development of a child’s internal organs, or age-related changes to the body. It could relate to the diagnosis of cancer, or the treatment of non-cancerous masses, like fibroids. Or it could cover poorly understood (and often poorly treated) conditions like endometriosis.
This area of medicine also applies to the management and treatment of women after childbirth. With pressure on hospital beds, women are often discharged home rapidly after delivery, to be managed by community midwifery services.
Although new mothers may be pleased to be home, complications following delivery can sometimes, and do sometimes, develop over time. Complications triggered in hospital delivery wards, may become significant gynaecological conditions weeks later.
There are specialist Consultant Gynaecologists who are also surgeons, and there are specialist Consultant Gynaecologists who treat the female reproductive system but never perform surgery. Possible negligence in this field covers all kinds of treatment, and may not involve a gynaecologist at all, but doctors from other departments, or nurses, or healthcare assistants.
Gynaecology has a big presence outside the NHS. Fertility is big business. Private clinics often market themselves offering the panacea to women who have struggled to become pregnant.
Another area of specific treatment that the private sector was heavily invested in, was vaginal mesh implants used to manage female continence following childbirth. That has become a major area of litigation.
The legal principles of negligence apply to treatment provided by private Consultant Gynaecologists, as they do to NHS Consultant Gynaecologists.
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