Have you been given the wrong drugs or medicine?
You may be entitled to compensation.
"The adult may be safely treated as a child; the converse can lead to disaster"
[William E Ladd].
Misprescription of drugs can occur in a variety of ways and in
a number of different situations. If you have been placed in any of the situations
set out below you could have a medical negligence compensation
Wrong medication given to patient
On 5 October 2006 a lady was discharged from hospital with another patient’s
medication. She used the tablets and on 7 October had pain in her abdomen, chest
and back as well as constipation. The pain gradually got worse and on 9 October
2006 she was readmitted to hospital and at which time the mistake was recognised
and she was told that she had suffered an allergic reaction to the medicine. She
made a complete recovery and was discharged from hospital one week later.
Simpson Millar LLP Solicitors recovered damages of £3,500 on her behalf.
The wrong drugs:
- Many drug errors arise through careless prescribing,
eg misreading of badly written and illegible prescriptions when medication with
similar proprietary names, but very different actions become confused.
- The wrong prescription eg adult strength tablets instead of those designed for children
(when the latter are required).
- Being given the wrong medicine can result in tragic consequences
and are often the result of simple human error or sheer carelessness. The most dangerous
mistakes occur in hospital practice where particularly potent drugs are used. A
number of factors are known to contribute to serious drug errors.
- The increasing complexity and potency of modern treatments.
- Staffing patterns that interfere with continuity and consistency of care for both
doctors and nurses, eg short term rotations through specialist units or the necessity
for inexperienced doctors to cross cover specialist units either because of staff
shortages from leave, illness or from the required reduction in junior doctor hours
without a commensurate increase in staff.
- Inappropriate delegation of specialised treatment procedures to relatively junior
and inexperienced staff.
- Physical and emotional exhaustion from working long periods without sleep.
- Inadequate or nonexistent systems for cross checking potent drug doses between doctors,
between nurses or between doctors and nurses.
- Failure to identify certain drugs or substances as being particularly dangerous
by distinctive labelling and safe storage.
- Believe it or not simply giving a patient another patient’s medication by
- Miscalculating drug reactions:
Doctors must take account of manufacturer’s instructions and known side affects
when prescribing medicines, although they should not necessarily rely on the manufacturer’s
information unthinkingly, since it is known that manufacturers are not always entirely
frank about the contraindications or risks associated with their product. Where
a doctor ignores the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings, it is the doctor
who is responsible for any adverse reactions.
To find out more about miscalculating drug reactions please read our guide to misprescription of drugs.
Simpson Millar LLP provides 'accurate, perceptive and intelligent' advice.
Legal 500 2012
Medical negligence compensation
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a misprescription of drugs and have
suffered an injury as a result of the medical negligence of a third party you might
be entitled to compensation. Contact one of our specialist medical negligence compensation
solicitors now for a free consultation.
Call our helpline today on freephone: 0808 129 3320
or use our free, no obligation, online enquiry form to register
for a call back.
Please note: If your medical negligence complaint
relates to a medical facility in Scotland or Ireland
this will fall outside of our solicitor's jurisdiction and we advise
you to contact a local solicitor, however if you now live in
Scotland or Ireland and your complaint is regarding
a medical facility in England or Wales we will be more than
happy to assist you. You may find our
guide to making a complaint regarding treatment of use.