What happens if you are given the wrong medication in a hospital and it makes you ill?Could could you make a medical negligence claim for the harm you suffered and could you compensated? This guide provides answers these questions and looks at some of the ways that pharmaceutical errors come about, and how these mistakes could be construed as negligence.
You may have questions the guide does not address and should this be the case, please speak to an adviser on 0800 652 3087. They will answer any questions you have and explain how a personal injury lawyer can help you seek the compensation you could be entitled to.
Select A Section:
- A Guide To Claims If You Are Given The Wrong Medication In A Hospital
- What Do We Mean By The Wrong Medication Given In A Hospital?
- Types And Causes Of Hospitals Dispensing The Wrong Medication
- Statistics – Wrong Medication Given To Patients
- How Could Children Be Affected By The Wrong Medication?
- Impact Of The Wrong Medication On Hospital Patients
- Time limits To Claim For Hospital Medication Negligence
- What Compensation Could I Claim If Given The Wrong Medication In A Hospital?
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation From A Hospital?
- No Win No Fee Claims Against A Hospital When Prescribed The Wrong Medication
- How Medical Negligence Assist Could Help You
- Start Your Claim For Wrong Medication Given In A Hospital
- Helpful Links
A Guide To Claims If You Are Given The Wrong Medication In A Hospital
If you suffered harm because a hospital prescribed the wrong medication, you could have the basis to claim compensation for NHS negligence. The same could be true if you were given the wrong medication while being treated privately, in which case you could file a claim against the private healthcare provider.
This guide provides information relating to the process of making a personal injury claim for hospital negligence. We begin this guide by looking at what pharmaceutical mistakes are, and the many forms they can take.
The next part of the guide is related to pharmaceutical errors and how they occur, as well as providing other key information. We look at some of the ways that this type of mistake is made, and we present key statistics to show how commonly they occur. We cover how being given the wrong medication could affect children and other patients, and the impact a pharmaceutical error can have on their health and well-being.
In the last section, we cover some of the financial considerations associated with making a claim and provide essential information about the claims process itself. We go over the time limits that could apply when you decide to make a negligence claim.
We have also included a table, based on the judicial guidelines used in England, that shows possible compensation awarded for a variety of injuries. Along with this table, you will find a list of damages that could make up a compensation settlement.
Lastly, we explain how a No Win No Fee claim works, and why using the services of a medical negligence solicitor who works under this type of agreement, could be the best way for you to pursue your claim against the negligent third party.
If you have any questions after you have read this guide, or need more information about the process of making a claim, please speak to a member of our team who will answer your questions, evaluate your claim and give you some personalised advice based on your own circumstances on how best to proceed all of which is free of charge.
What Do We Mean By The Wrong Medication Given In A Hospital?
Pharmaceutical errors are quite common in the UK (more on this later). Many mistakes made with medication may cause no undue harm to a patient. Others result in only trivial health issues. However, some can result in more serious symptoms and could even prove fatal.
A pharmacist is a medical professional, just like a surgeon, your GP and every nurse who works in a hospital or other medical facility. As such, a pharmacist has a duty of care never to cause unnecessary harm to a patient. However, mistakes can occur, and quite frequently as discussed later. When a pharmaceutical mistake is made, and this causes harm to a hospital patient, or someone who is there as an outpatient, a personal injury solicitor may be able to process a hospital negligence claim on behalf of the injured party.
Types And Causes Of Hospitals Dispensing The Wrong Medication
Not every pharmaceutical error is as simple as giving the wrong medication in a hospital. There are many mistakes that can be made which could negatively impact a patient’s health, for example:
- Being given the wrong dose of the right medication
- Repeat prescriptions being given too readily, without reviewing the patient’s health
- Prescribing medication that the patient is known to be allergic to
- Providing too much medication, enabling the patient to overdose if they take too much
- Not prescribing a large enough dose, affecting the duration of the patient’s recovery
- Making a mistake when filling out a prescription.
- A pharmacy substituting medication for some reason, without consulting either the doctor or the patient
- Mistakes made when labelling medication, with the wrong dose, or wrong instructions
- Prescribing medication that should not be taken with another medication a patient has been prescribed or is taking
This type of mistake can lead to the patient suffering some kind of physical harm. If it can be proven that a mistake was made, the patient may have valid grounds to file a medical negligence claim. Speak to our team to learn more.
Statistics – Wrong Medication Given To Patients
This section covers the question – how common are medication errors in hospitals? Although there is little to no data available related solely to hospital medication errors, we can present some key statistics that show medication errors in general, such as:
- Out of every 550 prescriptions, one is a serious, dangerous error
- For every 8 patients, one will have been the victim of a prescription error
- For patients aged 75 and over, four out of every 10 will have been the victim of a prescription error
- The most common prescription error (30%) involves incomplete information printed on the prescription
- Pharmaceutical errors related to the wrong dose make up 18% of all mistakes
- Pharmaceutical errors that relate to the time a medication should be taken make up 11% of all mistakes
- 42% of medication errors are deemed minor in nature, 54% moderate, and 4% severe
All of the facts included in this (and the subsequent) section, are sourced from links provided at the end of this guide.
If you were to suffer a pharmaceutical error, and become one of these statistics, you may be able to seek compensation if you suffered harm.
Deaths Per Year Attributed To Medication Errors
It is an unfortunate fact that some occurrences of clinical negligence result in the death of a patient. When we look at how many deaths pharmaceutical errors cause in the UK, we find the following:
According to a study undertaken by the University of Manchester, there were in the region of 237 million pharmaceutical errors made in the UK between 2017 and 2018. Of these mistakes, a number of them would have caused an Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR). However, some cases were severe enough to be fatal. During the study, it was found that 712 patient deaths were the result of an ADR.
It is estimated that the cost of these pharmaceutical mistakes was around £98.5 million. The individual cost of each mistake ranged from £60 (a mistake made when prescribing an inhaler), to £6 million in the case of a compensation claim filed for a mistake having occurred with an anaesthetic. It was found that 71% of all pharmaceutical errors occur during the primary care process.
How Could Children Be Affected By The Wrong Medication?
Young children are particularly at risk when it comes to doctor negligence which results in a pharmaceutical error of some kind. Children have less body mass than adults which means that when medication is being prescribed, the doctor has to take into account the height, weight and age of the child. This adds a level of complexity to that of prescribing medication for adults. In short, there is more room for an error to be made. I have knots in my neck. My GP prescribed me Soma. It’s a perfect muscle relaxant. I’m an expert in it, I’ve tried a bunch of them. It reduces spasm and tightness, I regain a full range of moves. I strongly recommend this medication, especially if you want to save some money. It’s the cheapest muscle relaxant I know.
When a doctor makes a mistake prescribing medication to a child, the results could be catastrophic, even fatal. If there is sufficient proof that a mistake was made, the child’s parents or guardian, can act as a litigation friend, and make a claim for negligence compensation on their behalf. Speak to our team for more information about what it means to be a litigation friend.
Impact Of The Wrong Medication On Hospital Patients
When medical malpractice results in a mistake being made with medication, and a hospital patient is given the wrong medication, the results can vary greatly, for example:
- The patient may not recover from their illness, or they may take longer to recover, because they are not receiving the correct medication/dosage
- An allergic reaction to medication the patient has a known allergy to
- Anaphylaxis, a severe reaction to the medication
- Renal failure or some other issue with the organs of the body, causing by a toxic reaction to the medication
If you were to suffer any kind of harm due to a mistake made with your medication, if you can prove negligence took place, you could have the basis of a valid compensation claim. An adviser can evaluate your claim and offer essential advice on how best to proceed.
Time limits To Claim For Hospital Medication Negligence
If a hospital administered the wrong medication, and it caused harm to a patient, there is a personal injury claims time limit that must be respected which are as follows:
- If the victim is 18 years old or over – 3 years from the time the incident took place, or from the time that a medical condition caused by the incident is diagnosed
- If the victim is under 18 years old – 3 years from the date of the victim’s 18th
What Compensation Could I Claim If Given The Wrong Medication In A Hospital?
It is impossible to come up with an average settlement you could be entitled to receive because each claim is different. However, the table below can give you a rough indication of the amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful claim against a negligent third party. The amounts are based on the Judicial College Guidelines which are used by the courts in the UK.
|Illness||Minor||Illness with minor symptoms such as diarrhoea, stomach pain or cramps, nausea, etc. It would last for days to weeks.||£860 to £3,710|
|Illness||Moderate||An illness such as food poisoning, that would cause diarrhoea, stomach cramps, bowel dysfunction, etc. The victim would have to stay in the hospital for a short time and the illness would take from weeks to two years for a full recovery to happen.||£3,710 to £8,950|
|Illness||Serious||A serious illness that would only last for the short-term. For example, serious food poisoning causing diarrhoea, sickness, nausea, vomiting, fever, etc. The illness would have an effect on the victim’s life, such as affecting their sex life or ongoing bowel dysfunction. The illness would diminish over a few weeks and would likely require hospitalisation. Some symptoms may continue into the long-term.||£8,950 to £18,020|
|Illness||Severe||Any illness with severe symptoms such as diarrhoea, fever, nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, etc. Hospitalisation would be required, and the illness would last into the long-term possibly with ongoing symptoms for years.||£36,060 to £49,270|
You also could also use an online personal injury claims calculator to get an estimate of the amount of compensation you could receive. However, for a more accurate estimate, a lawyer would need to value your claim first.
When you make a claim, your lawyer will explain what damages you could include. These would make up any settlement you are offered. For example, you might try to claim for:
- General damages (for pain and suffering):
- Psychological damage such as post-traumatic stress disorder, new phobias, anxiety or depression
- General trauma, suffering, pain
- Long-term, painful or traumatic treatment
- Stress and trauma
- Permanent disability or impairment
- Special damages (for financial loss):
- Cares costs to cover paying for nursing care at home
- Travel costs (travelling to get treatment or deal with the claim)
- Loss of income because you had to take time away from work. This could be partial loss or complete
- Medical fees if you have to pay for private healthcare
- Lowered earning potential if you are not be able to work at the same level in the future, or you are unable to work at all
Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation From A Hospital?
For your medical negligence claim to be valid, two things must be true. You must have suffered some kind of physical harm, and you must be able to prove that a medical professional failed in their duty of care, and this caused you harm.
To summarise how the duty of care works, we could say that every valid negligence claim would:
- Be based on an actual case of physical harm to a patient
- Will have been the result of a medical professional failing in their duty of care never to cause harm to a patient unnecessarily
- The harm the patient suffered could have been avoided, had the medical professional involved taken alternative action
If your own claim is based on these three criteria, you could be eligible to make a claim for compensation. If you would like to have your claim evaluated to find out whether it is valid or not, please call our team today.
No Win No Fee Claims Against A Hospital When Prescribed The Wrong Medication
You have the option to employer the services of a lawyer who works under a No Win No Fee agreement. This means the lawyer would not collect their pre-agreed fee until they have successfully secured a compensation settlement for you. What this means is:
- You will not be asked to pay any kind of new claims fee when the lawyer takes on your claim
- Your lawyer will not expect to be paid any ongoing fees during the time they are processing your claim. Even if it takes months to reach a final settlement
- If the lawyer does not manage to get you any compensation, you will not be expected to pay the lawyer’s fee (known as a success fee)
How Medical Negligence Assist Could Help You
We offer one of the simplest ways to start a claim. If you need to make a hospital negligence claim, just follow these three simple steps:
- Call our team, and have your questions answered
- An adviser would evaluate your claim, and offer you essential free legal advice
- Arrange for a No Win No Fee lawyer to process your claim on your behalf
Start Your Claim For Wrong Medication Given In A Hospital
Have you been harmed due to a pharmaceutical error? Do you think a personal injury solicitor may be able to process a claim for you? If so, you can contact our team on 0800 652 3087. They will let you know how best to proceed with your claim against the negligent third party.
These external links could be of use to you:
These other guides could also be useful:
Article by MW