GPs and other medical professionals are being urged not to hesitate with referring patients for further assessment, after a Southport primary school teacher, whose stomach illness was initially diagnosed as a food intolerance, died of kidney cancer.
Merseyside teacher, Miss Claire Tomlinson, tragically lost her seven month battle against kidney cancer. However the circumstances could have been very different had she been sent for further tests when she visited her GP. Instead she was led her to believe that the pain in her stomach was simply a food allergy, with her GP advising her to “cut out bread” as well as cutting out other food types from her diet, last September.
Five months after the initial assessment and after months of further excruciating pain. Miss Tomlinson was finally diagnosed with kidney Cancer. Tragically, by this point, the cancer had already spread to both her lungs and her brain, further limiting her chances of survival. After an attempted course of chemotherapy (which was unsuccessful) she sadly succumbed to the disease and passed away.
“Best to test”
Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident, as other cancer victims have had similar experiences, leading to massive complications in treatment. The case has prompted calls for medical professionals to not be worried about referring patients on for further testing, should there be any doubt at all about the cause of their problems.
Cancer shares symptoms with many other, less deadly illnesses like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and food intolerances like Miss Tomlinson was identified as having. In her case it took further pain escalation and a private body scan (not one prescribed by her GP) to reveal the extent of the damage.
Her parents believe that the care given could have been a little more urgent based on what she was telling her GP. In a statement her parents admitted ‘We’re not trying to say she could have been cured, we just think that the treatment should have been more urgent.”
“’Once you’ve alerted a doctor that something is wrong it’s in their hands and you have to push and push to make sure that people act.”
‘You can’t be frightened if there is something wrong, you have to do something about it because it’s not just going to go away.’
The legal side
When it comes to suffering from cancer, it is not generally a priority to take legal council. Often it depends on the circumstances surrounding the development of the disease. In Miss Tomlinson’s case she told her parents not to pursue legal action, including after she died, as she felt it was too late.
Sometimes, however, legal aid is something a sufferer may wish to seek. In the role of a serious injury or illness, a solicitor can help with a network of contacts that can arrange and provide essential aftercare, such as fast tracked healthcare, counselling and the planning of future expenses for both the sufferer and their family.
Medical negligence cases take time, care and individual attention to see through. We always aim to achieve a personal service where the sufferer and their family feel they are relieved of a lot of pressure injury and illness can bring.
To have a chat with one of our team about any kind of injury or illness, you can call 01695 722 222 anytime between 9am and 7pm on weekdays. Our team are on hand to offer conscientious, free, impartial advice on what role Sincere Law can play in a serious injury or illness.
We also have an online form which allows you to give details of the problem. From there we can call you and further discuss the details.
Bonfire Night is a special holiday in the UK celebrating the commemoration of the failed attempt on King James’ life by, infamous plotter, Guy Fawkes. The tradition, steeped in history, is celebrated by thousands of firework displays up and down the country, in both small-scale back garden affairs and elaborate displays in front of packed crowds.
Bonfire night poses a selection of potential injury threats when fireworks and bonfires are treated irresponsibly. They can also cause further problems if the same risks are presented to children, who may be unaware of the full potential for danger.
Our safety tips are designed to keep you aware but also able to ensure that you can enjoy what can be one of the most mesmerising nights of the year. With a little care and attention, Bonfire Night can go off with a bang and without a hitch.
To begin we touch on possibly the most common injury to children on Bonfire Night, using sparklers. These dazzling tools can provide a few moments of joy for many children by making patterns, writing their name or just waving them in the air. With a burning temperature of 2,000 degrees Celsius however, which is over 15 times the boiling point of water, third degree burns are not uncommon for those exposed to them.
The third degree is one of the most severe burns as it singes not only the epidermis but goes as deep as the dermis and the nerve endings in skin, often causing discolouration, scarring, blistering and disfigurement depending on where it takes place.
Sparklers should always be stored in a cool, dry box, only to be taken out one at a time for lighting. Always use gloves to avoid burning; this counts for both the lighter and the user. With that said, any children under the age of five are best left watching, rather than holding them themselves. Have a cold water bucket on hand for when the sparkler is spent (a used sparkler can still run hot for a long time following burnout). Cold water is the best way to ensure it cools, keeping it away from any young children who otherwise may be tempted to pick up a hot spent sparkler left on the floor.
Sparklers possibly pose the biggest threat on Bonfire Night, given the widespread use and proximity to them. It doesn’t get any closer than holding the mini firework in your hand, so the awareness of the threat they pose needs to be at the front of the mind.
Sparkler Safety with Fireman Sam
Displays vary from a humble value pack bought at the local supermarket for the back garden, to the expansive public displays like the Lord Mayor’s show in London or the most popular in the UK, Lewes Firework Display, which is attended by over 30 Bonfire groups.
Fireworks offer the best visuals, lighting up the sky in a multitude of colours and patterns. While they provide the biggest spectacle of the evening, they must be managed with care as a mishandled firework can easily become a painful and dangerous mistake.
Our advice on firework safety would be to take the safest option and take the family to a public display. Displays are a managed event and will have all the relevant health & safety safeguards required to ensure all have a safe but mesmerising time.
An organised event near you is likely to have the most expansive display around and likely to beat out anything that can be bought from a local supermarket.
If you do decide you’d like to put on a small display at home, you may find that taking time to properly set up during the day can assist the smooth running of your display and maximise safety. Read the instructions on the fireworks during the day when it’s light and lay them out ready for you to set off later that evening. If you want a seamless display, you can purchase single fuse displays that only require lighting once, removing the need to walk over and light individually (reducing risk).
If you are setting up at home, ensure your display area is clear of trees, hedges, bushes, sheds and other structures blocking the firework’s path. If you have a lot of grass near the display area we would recommend placing each firework in a bucket of soft earth, lighting them with a taper to keep any early sparks away from flammable surfaces.
When the display starts in full, keep everyone watching away from the firework area and have a first aid kit on hand as a safeguard. If you have friends or family over, who are drinking alcohol, ensure they do not try and get involved in the display. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix!
The main attraction and the annual events namesake, bonfires, are seen the length and breadth of the country. Bonfires can be made from the old shed in a back garden, good burning wood brought in for the community firework display and all manner of weird and wonderful materials. Each bonfire has its own story.
If you have made a bonfire at home and have invited visitors around for the evening, you’ll need to be aware of the threat of an open fire and manage it accordingly. You may have an effigy of Guy Fawkes sat atop your bonfire, whether you do or don’t, you’ll need to be aware of everything thrown on your bonfire to control the blaze, including what Guy is wearing.
For the base of a bonfire, it’s wise to use simple, good burning materials like cuttings of wood to build up the structure. The best materials for kindling (used to light the fire) include:
Dead plants and grasses
For the actual structure itself, it is best to use sturdy objects such as dry wood blocks, twigs and cardboard. Build up from a large base into a peak. To stop the fire spreading if it is on grass, place stones and rocks around the outer edge to contain the fire.
There should never be any highly flammable materials or liquids on the fire, as even the smallest amount can cause the fire to unexpectedly erupt, causing flames to shoot out from the main fire. Aerosols, alcohol, petrol and paints are all dangerous when thrown onto a fire given their highly reactive nature.
As with firework displays, all attendees should be placed well back in case the fire spits and should definitely be kept further away if consuming alcohol. Fireworks and alcohol are a bad mix, so is fire and alcohol.
Be Safe & Enjoy!
It can be easy to get sucked into the dangers of bonfire night, with the possibility of being burned by bonfires, fireworks and sparklers. It’s even easier if you are a parent to worry about your child, given the extensive campaigns promoting fire safety to children. The reality, however, is that if you are conscientious about the dangers and act in a level headed manner throughout the evening, you are more likely to have a fantastic time watching the flames spur up into the night, as the sky is blanketed by flashes and explosions.
Sincere Law do have the ability to help if you suffer as a result of somebody else’s negligent actions with fire or fireworks. We are open from 8am – 9pm daily and have a team of dedicated specialists to help you through a serious injury claim. To get in touch should you suffer the worst you can call on 0800 092 2896 or you can fill in our contact form here to get in touch. We do hope however that you, your family and friends have a safe, enjoyable bonfire night filled with cheer and spectacle.
It’s a phrase thrown around with tremendous aplomb inside the Law industry. Something you would probably notice more if it wasn’t featured on a law firm’s website front page and seemingly par for the course for every personal injury Solicitors in the modern age. What does it mean though? Do Solicitors work for free? Surely there’s a catch?Continue reading →
Amputations (of any body part) are a major change in a person’s life, almost intrusive on a personal level. Usually they occur when a body part is majorly injured or infected. In simple terms they are described as the “surgical removal of a body part”. In the UK, over 5,000 major limb amputations are thought to be carried out each year according to the NHS.
This past month, a news story has been circulated around many of the main media outlets regarding the unfortunate incident involving a teenager (Leah Washington) requiring an amputation to her leg following a ride malfunction at the popular theme park Alton Towers.
The incident took place on a ride which has been plagued with problems it’s entire working life, The Smiler. Serious injuries on rollercoasters are thankfully not a common occurrence due to the strict testing each one must go through to ensure any thrill seeker on board is as safe as possible. Unfortunately however, amputations occur in all manner of circumstances elsewhere in life. Some of the more common causes include:
Road traffic accidents
Clinical negligence cases
In all instances, including Leah’s this summer; they can have very serious consequences.
The Smiler was the cause of the accident resulting in Leah’s amputation
Amputations are instantly life changing ordeals. After living your entire life with full function, that normality is completely thrown into disarray. As soon as they leave the hospital, an amputee may suffer emotional scars as they see themselves without a body part. This can cause serious self esteem problems.
At the same time, it’s a steep learning curve requiring to adapt life and everyday situations to not having that body part, be it an arm, hand, leg, foot or even fingers or toes. Upon arriving home even basic tasks could turn into a drawn out, laborious process. An amputee may have trouble performing tasks such as:
Walking up stairs
Moving around the house
Opening doors and cupboards
Holding regular household objects
The time required to get used to this has to be rapid as the affected person will never be able to perform those tasks the same again. Thankfully, due to advancement in scientific development, we are much better able to simulate having these limbs now, but even that isn’t a replacement for the damage caused.
Long term scarring
It’s not unusual for an amputee to be forced to leave their job depending on the physical strain required, or adapt their role to allow them to continue. Thankfully in the UK those suffering from an amputation are currently entitled to disability benefits in some capacity; however, this is unlikely to match potential earnings an amputee could have with a long, prosperous career.
After her Alton Towers ordeal, Leah will likely have to adapt her future life around what she is and isn’t physically able to do. This is the case for most negligence victims with amputations, and this will not only affect her, but her family too. Not being able to fully enjoy physical activities the same will be a lasting side effect alongside taking longer to travel on foot, requiring more time planning.
The cost of life could increase with an amputation as alterations to housing could have to be made or equipment purchased to make life easier. In Leah’s case she may require a prosthetic or a wheelchair when out of the house to assist with movement. This also is a common long term after effect of an amputation.
Dramatic lifestyle changes may be required following an amputation
Options following surgery
If you or a loved one were to suffer an accident resulting in amputation, you or they would almost certainly need to alter your lifestyle and living conditions in some form. If the amputation was caused as a result of somebody else’s negligence, then there would be scope to be able to recoup the damage caused and allow you or your loved one to secure themselves financially following the injury. While full recovery will never be a possibility, the financial burden of requiring lifestyle changes due to somebody else’s fault can be eased.
Nobody should be left to carry the burden for the cost of an amputation caused by another (mentally as well as financially). Leah will now have to live without the lower half of one leg due to an accident as the result of a defect that, all being well, could have completely changed the events of that day.
Sincere Law has been dealing with serious injuries like Leah’s leg for over 20 years, with many cases involving amputated limbs during that time. We’ve learned the importance of life after amputation and if it was ever to happen to yourself or a loved one, you need to know what you can do to get life back to normal, including claiming compensation. If you or your family member ever suffers from misfortune as a result of another’s negligence, please call us on 0800 092 2896 or contact us via www.sincerelaw.co.uk to see what we could do for you.