Osteoporosis Medical Negligence


Osteoporosis is a condition which causes the bones to become weak and fragile, making them more likely to fracture. It affects some 3 million people in the UK and, while it can be suffered by people of all ages, it is most commonly associated with older women.

Every year, osteoporosis causes 320,000 fragility fractures. This in itself is a shocking statistic. However, recent research has revealed that the treatment and care of osteoporosis patients is falling well below acceptable standards. The report is so damning that the Royal College of Physicians, who carried out the national audit, have called the disease a "public health catastrophe".

The findings highlight the disparity in osteoporosis care across England and Wales, revealing that in two-thirds of the country there are no clinics specialised in preventing broken bones - a clear contravention of medical guidelines. This is a vital service for people affected by the disease as treatment can help avoid a second break from occurring.

While fractured bones can often be easily mended in healthy individuals, such an incident can prove fatal in those with osteoporosis. In fact, 1,150 sufferers die each month from fractures. The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker-Bowles, has emphasised her concerns, stating that osteoporosis patients are needlessly dying because they are not getting the care "we all deserve".

The study focused upon hip fractures, which are suffered by around 76,000 osteoporosis patients every year. Of these, one in 10 patients will die within a month, whilst 50% will be left with a permanent disability and will never regain their independence.

Guidelines state those who have sustained one break should receive follow-up assessments, while bones scans should be carried out if necessary. However, many hospitals and GPs are simply failing to follow the rules, with only one in three local health trusts running fracture liaison services to help prevent a break from happening again.

Dr Jonathan Treml, associate Director for falls and bone health at the Royal College of Physicians, said the audit exposed "unacceptable" inadequacies. He said: "Wherever you live, if you're over 50 and suffer a low trauma fracture you should expect to be assessed for future risk of falls and osteoporosis, and treated appropriately."

By implementing measures to stop falls from occurring, and with the correct preventative treatment, experts say there would be 4,500 fewer hip fractures a year. This would save the NHS some £34 million per annum.

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Have You Suffered Osteoporosis Medical Negligence?

If you are an osteoporosis sufferer and you believe you received a sub-standard level of care, you need to speak to someone about your treatment. Your first port of call may be the hospital complaints department, who will take it upon themselves to investigate the reasons behind your poor treatment. However, you may find that this fails to prove satisfactory. If so, contact a medical negligence solicitor to discuss your case further. You could well have been the victim of medical negligence, meaning you could be entitled to compensation to help you get your life back on track.

If you would like 1stClaims’ expert Medical Negligence Solicitors on your side please call us free on 0800 2888 693 (from a mobile click to call: 01348 630 720) or complete our Free Claim Enquiry form now and we will be in touch with you very soon.

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