Clinical negligence in the UK: the serious cases of the last decade

x-ray-1459448One of the most resonant clinical negligence cases in the UK was the error made by a nursing personnel of a Wiltshire hospital. A terrible mistake that was made has led to irreparable consequences for the patient. The nurse, Violetta Aylward, has mistakenly shut down lungs ventilation system of the patient. The accident took place in 2009 (but the details were revealed in 2012) and it was recorded by the CCTV camera installed in the room.

In 2002 a 37-year-old Jamie Merrett, fell into a heavy car accident, the result of which was paralysation of the body. He lived at home, connected to a life support system. He retained the clarity of mind, was able to speak, used wheelchair and operated various devices using voice recognition commands.

However, after a 21 minute of disconnection from the system, an irreparable blow was delivered to his brain. His sister, Curran Reynolds, says, ‘now his life has changed. But, it is not the life he used to live. He was a smart man, you could have talked to him for hours, but now his mind has become primitive’. The tragic accident happened in January, 2009. Curran Reynolds did not wait till someone took responsibility – it all went complicated according to her and she decided to file a complaint. The agency, which is under contract with the public service health care provided nursing services for Mr. Reynolds, still supposedly investigating. Violetta Aylward, the nurse was suspended from work.

The case in Britain is not the first and, unfortunately, not the last, recollecting a fairly recently completed court settlement into the death in 2004 of 30-year-old Mayra Cabrera. She gave birth at the same hospital, where she worked as a nurse. The birth went well, but Cabrera put on a drip to normalise blood pressure. And the nurse injected her with a strong analgesic instead of saline, the drug, as it turned out, was ‘similar in appearance’. The hospital paid the fine, has pledged to label products better and conduct annual certifications in obstetricians. The compensation rates vary from case to case, but in general, competent legal assistance is the key towards a successful issue resolution. You may want to get contacts of decent medical negligence solicitors at, an aspiring UK legal startup aggregating law services at one place. Remember that there is an option when you pay no legal fees if the claim is successful – learn more about it in the article on the no win no fee agreement.

How is it going in the US?

Interesting stats: according to newspaper Chicago Tribune, in the United States starting from 1995 to 2000, no less than 1720 patients died in hospitals, and about 10,000 of patients were seriously injured through the fault of the nurses – because of their inaction or wrong action. In accordance with the publication, the main causes behind the issues are that nurses and nursing personnel are either poorly trained or overworked, or are not currently under the influence of drugs. A relatively infrequent punishment of nursing personnel is another factor CT underlines – they are rarely fired and in the worst case scenario move to another states, where they work in the same profession.

Patenting Burdens And Legal Obstacles For Innovation

Medicine+patent+landscape+studiesOn the one hand, patent law developed enough to adequately protect the interests of inventors and manufacturers of new products and other interested parties (access information about the nature of patentable subject matter).

On the other hand, the same positive features grow into quite different phenomena affecting the market. The rapid growth in the number of patent applications in many countries in recent years is leading to a slowdown and a decline in the quality of patent offices, duplication of their efforts in considering applications identical in different countries. It also complicates the access for inventors and other persons to reliable the information about the contents and scope of protection of existing patents, but it reduces the level of scientific knowledge available to society by choosing the inventors do not patent their forms of protection. The state of affairs seriously increases transaction costs and the costs for obtaining all the necessary licenses in the issuance of technologically sophisticated devices. The current legislation deprives the profits of manufacturers for a long time waiting for the issuance of a patent and multiplies the number of legal disputes between multiple patent holders in certain areas.

The way to go

National patent offices should seek to establish close cooperation with the relevant authorities in other countries to use the same database of patentable subject matter in order to simplify and expedite the review of applications.

The increase in patents in overlapping fields of science and technology leads to a multiplication of interrelated patent lack of understanding of who exactly is necessary to obtain consent for the use of his invention, the growth of conflict and litigation, to the prevalence of “defensive” nature of patenting (instead of stimulating innovation), receivable low scientific patents to the emergence of patent obstacles when several different owners of patents prevent each of them to produce their products, as well as try to acquire malicious profit from owning interdependent patents (the production of smartphones is a bright example).

The fastest growing in recent years is the number of patents in the field of computer technology and telecommunications, and industry experts express serious doubts that the patenting support innovation. Inventions in these areas often follow logically from existing inventions and innovations, rather than represent a new word in science and technology. As a result, support for innovation is weak, and patents form a long list of obstacles of course, hindering market growth.

There is no single way to solve the problem of patent ‘thickets’. Market participants themselves are taking advantage of different methods of restoring order: creating standards, patent pools and so on. Businesses tend to invest heavily in maintaining legal cleanness, and virtually all the solid entities dealing with research and innovation put maximum effort into protecting the fruits of their labour. A quick example is universities, investing into researches and looking to ensure ROI numbers; e.g. the University of Manchester has established UMIP, the branch that assists scientific departments with intellectual property and commercialisation fields.

Awaiting government moves

States in this regard can take the following three steps:

Prevent the spread of patenting on areas of business where the catalytic role of patents lower compared to the overhead created, increase the amount of fees for maintaining the patent in force and provide for the issuance of patents of higher quality.