Name

Acceleration

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Temporary increase in the fetal heart rate of at least 15 beats per minute (bpm) above the baseline for around 10-20 seconds

Achilles Tendon

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The tendon which attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone.


 

 

Acidosis

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An accumulation of acid in the blood or tissues.

Acquired Brain Injury

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Damage to the brain which occurs after birth and no related to congenital disorder, developmental disability or progressive disease.

Acute Renal Failure

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A sudden loss of the ability of the kidneys to remove waste and urine.

Adenoidectomy

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Surgical removal of the adenoids (small lumps of tissue at the back of the throat)


 

 

Adhesive Capsulitis

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Frozen Shoulder’ – shoulder joint with significant loss of its range of motion.

After the Event Insurance (ATE)

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This is insurance taken out after the event to cover legal costs.


 

 

Amnesia

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Loss of memory


 

 

Amniocentesis

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A diagnostic test for chromosome abnormality performed by extracting a sample of amniotic fluid.


 

 

Anaesthetic

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A medication that causes loss of sensation


 

 

Analgesia

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A group of drugs used to relieve pain


 

 

Anaesthetic Awareness

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being mentally alert while supposedly under full general anaesthesia


 

 

Anaphylaxis

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A severe, potentially fatal, allergic reaction


 

 

Anterior Cord Syndrome

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Blood supply to the anterior portion of the spinal cord is interrupted causing loss of motor function below the injury level.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)

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One of four ligaments which provides stability in the knee. The ACL is the most common knee ligament to suffer injury.

Anti-coagulant

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Medicines which reduce the ability of the blood to clot


 

 

Anti-hypertensive

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Substance or procedure which reduces high blood pressure.

Anti-inflammatory

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Substance or procedure which reduces inflammation.

Apgar Score

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A method of assessing the physiological state of a newborn baby.

APIL

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Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Arthritis

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Inflammatory condition of the joints, characterised by pain, swelling, heat and limitation of movement.

Arthroscopy

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Surgical procedure to examine the internal structure of a joint.

Artificial rupture of membranes (ARM)

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The process of breaking the waters around a fetus

Asphyxia

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A lack of oxygen

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

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A form of cerebral palsy which affects the sense of balance, depth perception, muscle tone and difficulty with speech.

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

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A form of cerebral palsy which affects control of muscles, disrupted by spontaneous and unwanted irregular writhing movements.

Atrophy

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Wasting or loss of muscle

AvMA

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Action against Medical Accidents – Charity which provides advice about medical accidents.

Baker’s Cyst

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Lump filled with synovial fluid which forms behind the knee.

Barlow test

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A test to see whether the hip is able to be dislocated in a baby, which involved moving the thigh up to the midline and pressing on the knee

Barrister

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(Counsel) Legal practitioner that specialises in advocacy both written and oral

Baseline variability

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The variability in the normal baseline rate of the fetal heart. Normal baseline variability is around 10 beats per minute.

Before the Event Insurance (BTE)

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Legal expenses insurance -usually as part of house contents insurance policies or car insurance.  This insurance is in place before an accident occurs and may cover legal expenses.

Baseline rate

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The fetal heart rate (FHR) excluding accelerations and decelerations.

Bell’s Palsy

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A facial nerve palsy

Boutonniere Deformity

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An injury to the tendons in the fingers.

Brachial plexus

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The bundle of nerves leading from the neck to the armpit, which send s signals from the spine to the shoulder arm and hand. Erb’s Palsy is a brachial plexus injury.

Brachial plexus

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The bundle of nerves leading from the neck to the armpit, which sends signals from the spine to the shoulder arm and hand. Erb’s Palsy is a brachial plexus injury.

Bradycardia

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A heart rate slower than normal.

Breach of Duty

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Negligence

Breech presentation

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The presentation of the baby bottom down during pregnancy or labour

Caesarean section

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Delivery of a baby surgically through an incision in the abdomen and uterus.

Cardiomyopathy

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Heart muscle disease

Cardiotocograph (CTG)

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A machine used to record the strength of maternal contractions and the fetal heart rate, usually towards the end of pregnancy or during labour.

Carotid Artery

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The artery which supplies the head and neck with oxygenated blood.

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

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Irritation of the median nerve in the wrist causing tingling and numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingers.

Case Management Conference (CMC)

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This takes place after Court proceedings have been issued. The Court decides a likely time table for the case.

Catheter

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A tube used for draining the bladder.

Cauda Equina Syndrome

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A compression of the cauda equina nerves most often caused by a prolapsed disc pressing on the nerves.  This can cause loss of sensation and control over the bladder, bowels and sexual function. It can also cause loss of power and sensation to the lower limbs.

Cephalic

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The presentation of a fetus head first

Cerebellum

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An area of the brain

Cerebral Palsy

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An umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions.

Cerebral Vascular Accident – CVA

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A stroke.

Cervical Vertebrae

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The cervical vertebrae are the vertebrae in the neck.

Cervix

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The lowest part of the uterus

Chrondromalacia

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Runners Knee’ – Irritation of the under surface of the kneecap

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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A complex syndrome with symptoms of lethargy, insomnia, depression, joint pains, lack of concentration and general malaise.

Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome

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Also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy- pain and swelling in one part of the body.

Chronic Villus Sampling (CVS)

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A genetic test for serious fetal abnormalities performed by removing a sample of the placenta.

Civil Procedure Rules (CPR)

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The Rules that govern cases that are dealt with in the Civil Court.

Claimant

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The person bringing the claim.

Claim Form

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This is the document that starts Court proceedings.

Testicular Torsion

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When the spermatic cord is twisted, blood supply to the testicle and surrounding structures within the scrotum is cut off.  Symptoms include the sudden onset of severe pain in one testicle. The condition is more common in adolescence and during infancy.

Temporal Arteritis

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Inflammation and damage to blood vessels that supply the head area and can lead to visual loss if not treated promptly.

Suturing

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A medical device used to hold tissue together following surgery or an injury.

Sub-Arachnoid Haemorrhag

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A stroke caused by bleeding in, or immediately surrounding, the brain.

Stillbirth

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The result of a foetus dying in the uterus. The mother may still experience contractions and go through the childbirth process.

Spondylolisthesis

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A condition in which a bone in the spine slips out of its proper position and rests on the bone below it. Symptoms can range from almost non-existent to severe back pain and stiffness.

Spastic Quadriplegia

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A form of cerebral palsy which affects all four limbs (arms and legs); sufferers experience extreme tightness and stiffness in their limbs and must work extremely hard in order to use their limbs successfully.

Secondary care services

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The service tasked with providing and maintaining all in-patient hospital facilities for those over the age of 65.

Sciatic Nerve Damage

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The sciatic nerve originates in the spinal cord and runs between the bones of the lower back and the muscles of the buttocks. Damage to the nerve can cause leg pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in the affected area.

Scaphoid Fracture

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The scaphoid is one of the smallest bones in the wrist, and is also the most likely to break.

Pulmonary embolism

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A blood clot in the pulmonary artery, the blood vessel that transports blood from the heart to the lungs.

Prognosis

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A doctor’s prediction as to the likely outcome of a medical procedure, illness or injury.


 

 

Preventive care

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Steps taken to prevent a disease or injury from developing, rather than treating and/or curing the after-effects.

Pressure sores

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Also known as pressure ulcers, pressure sores are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue which are the direct result of the affected area being put under too much pressure. Such injuries are often the result of neglect combined with a lack of mobility.

Perineal Tear

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A tear in the region of the perineum, which generally includes the areas surrounding the genitals and anus. Perineal tears can occur as a complication during childbirth.

Overdose

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The application of a drug or other substance in quantities greater than recommended by medical professionals. Drug overdoses can often lead to severe illness and death.

Orthopaedic

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Specialists in Orthopaedics perform surgery to correct conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system.

Opthalmology

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The branch of medicine which handles the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye.

Obstetric Cholestasis

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A rare complication of pregnancy, which manifests itself as a persistent itch during the last third of pregnancy.

Obstetrics

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The branch of medicine which specialises in caring for women’s reproductive systems and their children during pregnancy, childbirth and immediately after.

Neonatal Hypoglycaemia

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A condition that occurs in children when blood sugar (glucose) is too low

Neonatal nursing

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The provision of nursing care for newborn infants up to 28 days after birth.

MRSA

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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

MRI Scan

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MRI scans use strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce a detailed image of the inside of the body

Mixed Cerebral Palsy

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About 10 percent of children with cerebral palsy have what is known a mixed-type cerebral palsy

Miscarriage

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The unintended death of a fetus of under 24 weeks gestation

Metatarsal

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One of the bones in the mid section of the foot.

Meniscus

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Cartilage shaped in a crescent, usually pertaining to the knee joint.

Meningococcal disease

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Meningitis

Medical records

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All records about your health including your GP records and hospital records.

Meconium

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The early stools of an infant. Although characteristic of normal labour, it can also be an indication of fetal distress

McRobert's manoeuvre

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A procedure carried out in the event of shoulder dystocia to try to deliver the baby. It involves pressing the mother's legs tight against her abdomen, with pressure also being applied to the lower abdomen and gentle pulling on the baby's head.

Mandibular Fracture

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A fractured jaw

Lymphodema

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Chronic swelling occurs when lymph fluid does not drain away from tissue.

Lumbar Vertebrae

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There are 5 lumbar vertebrae below your thoracic vertebrae. If your injury is at this level you will lose the power in your legs, bladder and bowels.

Litigation Friend

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The person who issues proceedings on behalf of someone who is unable to do so on their own, for example a mother may be a litigation friend on behalf of a child.

Limitation period

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The Limitation Act provides that in claims for compensation for injury, legal proceedings must be issued within 3 years of the date of the alleged negligence unless at the time the Claimant is under 18 (in which case the 3 year period runs from the child’s 18th birthday) or is a person under a legal disability in which case no limitation period applies.  Alternatively, the 3 year period may run from what is known as the “date of knowledge”.  This is the date upon which the Claimant begins to suspect/should have suspected that they may have suffered an injury as a result of substandard treatment.   Where someone has died because of negligence, the 3 year time limit runs from the date of death.  In the case of private treatment where no claim is made for injuries (eg if you seek to recover only the cost of treatment) the limitation period is 6 years.

Liability and Causation

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Report which comments on whether the defendant has been negligent and if any injuries have been caused as a result of negligence.

Letter of Response

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The Defendants are required to send a formal letter responding to the case as set out in the letter of claim.

Letter of Claim

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A detailed letter to the Defendants setting out the basis upon which the claim is made.

Legal Services Commission

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This is the government department that deals with Legal Aid/Public Funding

Legal Expenses Insurance

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A type of insurance policy which covers policyholders against the potential costs of legal action.

Legal Aid

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Now known as Public Funding and provides financial assistance to people bringing of defending claims where they have limited funds available.  Legal Aid is subject to a merits and financial eligibility test.

Law Society

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This is the governing body of solicitors.

Laparoscopic

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Minimally invasive surgical procedure performed through small incisions (keyholes)

Laparotomy

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Surgery involving a large incision through the abdominal wall

Kyphosis

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Curving of the spine

Kernicterus

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Brain injury caused by untreated jaundice

Jaundice

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A change of skin colour and the whites of the eyes caused by excessive levels of bilirubin

Issue of Proceedings

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The Court formally starts Court proceedings by sealing the Claim Form and making an official Court record of the case.

Ischemia

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Insufficient supply of blood

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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A complex of symptoms which can include diarrhoea, loose stools, constipation, abdominal pain, flatulence and bloating.

Intrapartum

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During labour

Inquest

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A Hearing conducted by a Coroner to establish the cause of somebody’s death. This is limited to who, what, when and why.

ICAS

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The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service – provides support for patients and their carers wishing to pursue a complaint about treatment and care.

Hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE)

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Injury to the central nervous system caused by lack of oxygen.

Hypotension

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Low blood pressure

Hypoglycaemia

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Low blood sugar

Hypertension

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High blood pressure

Hydrocephalus

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A buildup of fluid on the brain which increasing the pressure

Hyberbilirubinemia

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Excessive levels of bilirubin in the blood due to the inadequate treatment of jaundice

Horner's Syndrome

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A nerve condition affecting the face

Hip dysplasia

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A deformation or misalignment of the hip

Hemiplagia

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Paralysis affecting one side of the body

Haemorrhage

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Bleeding

Haematuria

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The appearance of blood in the urine

Glaucoma

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Glaucoma is the result of increased pressure within the eye leading to damage of the optic nerve.

Glasgow Coma Scale

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Standardised system for assessing degree of conscious impairment

Gestation

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Pregnancy

Gentamycin (Gentamicin) toxicity

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Side effects which develop as a result of Gentamycin (an antibiotic) overdose

Gastroenteritis

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Gastroenteritis is a general medical term used to describe any illness which involves diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain etc.

Forceps

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Instruments similar to large tongs used to assist in delivering the baby vaginally.

Fibromyalgia

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Chronic condition with symptoms of pain and fatigue

Fetal distress

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Indication that a fetus is not well, including decreased movements, meconium, high or low heart rate and fetal acidosis.

Fetal blood sample

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A blood sample taken from the head of the baby before delivery.

Fetal acidosis

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Increased acidity in fetus blood. This is highly diagnostic of fetal distress.

Femur

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Thigh bone

Expert

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Experts in different fields prepare reports throughout the case to assist with assessing the merits and the value of the case.

Erbs Palsy

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A condition that affects the nerves that control the muscles in the arm and hand.

Episiotomy

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A surgical cut to the perineum, performed to ease the delivery of the baby's head or bottom during delivery

Epilepsy

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A common chronic neurological disorder characterized by seizures

Epicondylitis

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Elbow tendonitis

Endoscopic

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A method of examining visually the interior of a bodily canal or a hollow organ using an endoscope

Encephalopathy

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Encephalopathy is a term for any diffuse disease of the brain that alters brain function or structure

Expert

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Experts in different fields prepare reports throughout the case to assist with assessing the merits and the value of the case.


 

 

Erbs Palsy

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A condition that affects the nerves that control the muscles in the arm and hand.

Episiotomy

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A surgical cut to the perineum, performed to ease the delivery of the baby's head or bottom during delivery

Epilepsy

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A common chronic neurological disorder characterized by seizures

Epicondylitis

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Elbow tendonitis

Endoscopic

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A method of examining visually the interior of a bodily canal or a hollow organ using an endoscope

Encephalopathy

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Encephalopathy is a term for any diffuse disease of the brain that alters brain function or structure

Dorsiflexion

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Ankle motion - the foot and toes are moved upward from the ground.

Defendant

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The person against whom the claim is brought.

Defence

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The reasons why the defendant disputes your case.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

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Blood in one of the deep veins of the body

Decubitus Ulcer

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Pressure sores or bed sores

Deceleration

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A temporary decrease in the fetal heart rate.

Data Protection Act

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The Data Protection Act gives us authority to obtain copies of your medical records and other records with your consent.

Damages

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See compensation

Counsel’s Advice

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Barrister’s advice about certain aspects of the case

Counsel

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see Barrister

CT scan

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Computerised tomography – Scan which uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the inside of the body

Corticosteroids

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A hormone steroid used to control inflammation.

Coroner

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The person appointed to oversee enquiries (inquests) into people’s deaths.

Contraction

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Tightening of the uterus during labour

Congenital Dysplasia of the Hip (CDH)

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A dislocation of the hip joint that is present at birth (also referred to as DDH - developmental dysplasia of the hip)

Conference

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Meeting with solicitor, the Barrister and the medical experts.

Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)

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This is the legal document that is signed when a solicitor agrees to deal with a case on a no win, no fee basis.  It is a legally binding document between both parties.

Condition and Prognosis

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Refers to a prognosis obtained from a doctor or surgeon explaining  how your injuries have affected you and may affect you in the future.

Compensation

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Financial award should the case be successful.

Community Legal Service (CLS)

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Legal information resource.

Coccyx

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Triangular bony structure located at the bottom of the vertebral column

Clostridium Difficile

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Bacterium which can cause a range of disease from antibiotic-associated diarrhoea to life-threatening pseudo-membranous colitis. A type of hospital acquired infection.

Clinical Negligence

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When the acts and /or omissions of a Medical professional(s) falls below a reasonable standard of care which results in a quantifiable injury to the claimant.

Clavicle

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Collar bone.



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