Medication errors in hospitals can happen for a number of different reasons. If a medication error that caused you harm was caused by negligence, then you might be entitled to make a claim.
This guide will look at medication errors in hospitals. When you’re in a hospital, you might be administered medication intravenously or orally. You might be prescribed medication to take home once you are discharged.
When you’re being prescribed or administered medication, like with all other kinds of medical attention or treatment, you’re entitled to a minimum standard of care. This means that the medical professional treating you needs to act in a way that avoids you coming to unnecessary harm.
We can offer assistance and value your potential claim. If your case is valid, our team may be able to put you in touch with our panel of medical negligence solicitors. Additionally, our advisors can assess your claim for free, establishing if your claim would be able to succeed.
- Contact us today through our online claims form
- Call us on 0800 652 3087
- Speak to us through our live chat feature
Select A Section
- What Are Medication Errors In Hospitals?
- Examples Of Medication Errors In Hospitals
- Did The Hospital Breach Its Duty Of Care?
- How Do You Claim For Hospital Medication Errors?
- What Could You Get For Harmful Medication Errors In Hospitals?
- No Win No Fee Hospital Medication Error Claims
Medical negligence is when the quality of care provided by a medical professional falls below the standard that is expected. If you suffer unnecessary harm as a result of medical negligence, you could have grounds for a claim.
When you seek medical attention, you have a right to receive care that meets a minimum standard. If the care you receive falls below this standard, then you could experience unnecessary harm.
Sometimes, harm is a requirement when seeking medical attention. For example, if you take medication for a condition, then it might come with side effects such as nausea. These would be considered necessary harm, and you would not be able to claim.
If you need any information on the types of medication errors that could occur in a healthcare setting, speak to one of our advisors today.
How Common Are Medication Errors In Hospitals?
There isn’t a large amount of data available for medication errors in hospitals. However, we can present some key statistics:
- 237 million medication errors occur in England annually
- About a fifth of medication errors are made in hospitals
- 72% of medication errors are classed as minor. 1 in 4 could cause moderate harm. 2% have the potential to be serious
- It’s estimated that “definitely avoidable” mediation errors cause 1708 deaths a year and cost the NHS £98.5 billion
Call us today for more information about claiming for medication errors in hospitals.
Sometimes, complications can arise in the prescribing or administering of medication even when the duty of care you’re owed has been met. In order to claim for harm caused by medication error, it would need to arise as a result of negligence.
Below are some examples of medication errors that could harm you:
- Being given the wrong medication for your condition. This could make you ill and could also stop your original condition from getting better.
- Receiving medication at the wrong dosage.
- Having an allergic reaction to prescribed medication that you have a known allergy to.
- Being given the wrong guidance on taking medication (for example, being told to take it on an empty stomach when it should be taken with food)
If you need any more information on the different ways that a medication error could happen in a hospital setting. Speak to one of our advisors today.
You will need to provide proof of medical negligence in order to make a claim. You will also need to show that you were harmed by the medication error.
Below are some examples of potential causes of medication errors:
- Your patient notes are mixed up with someone else’s. As a result, you’re given their medication and vice versa
- You are given a drug that needs to be taken through an IV orally
- Because the hospital pharmacist is distracted, they give you the wrong medication
- The nurse mixed up the names of two medications and gives you the medical advice that relates to the wrong drug. As a result, you take it too frequently
Negligence and harm must both have been caused in order for you to be eligible to receive compensation. For example, if a doctor provided a treatment that was substandard, but there were no adverse effects to your health, you would not be able to make a medical negligence claim.
In this section, we’ll look at how you can claim for hospital medication errors and the different forms of evidence that you’d need to strengthen your claim.
For a claim about hospital medication errors to be successful, there will be a requirement for you to bring evidence to support your claim. To help you do so, you can take the following steps:
- Take note of what happened to you, including names of medical professionals, treatments and medication.
- Request your medical notes
- Ask any witnesses if they could provide their contact details and provide a statement at some point
- Seek legal advice. While not a legal requirement, the guidance of a lawyer could help you navigate the process of claiming more smoothly
Furthermore, each claim may differ slightly due to each of them having unique circumstances. Call us today to see if you could be eligible to claim compensation.
If you are looking to claim compensation for medical negligence and are unsure of where to begin. This section can provide you with information on the two different types of compensation.
Special damages cover any financial loss that you have suffered due to the harm you were caused. If you are looking to claim special damages, then you would need to provide proof of these costs as a form of evidence. The following can be covered under special damages:
- Loss of wages due to having time off from work
- Loss of any future earnings if you’re unable to return to work
- Medication expenses. For example, if you’ve had to pay for additional prescriptions to recover from your condition, then this could be reimbursed
General damages cover the pain and suffering that can occur due to medical negligence. The amount of compensation that is awarded for harm that you have sustained can depend on the following factors:
- The pain and suffering the harm causes you
- Any psychological harm, such as depression or PTSD.
- The extent to which the treatment you needed was intrusive
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) contain guideline compensation brackets for a wide range of injuries and health conditions that medical negligence could cause. Legal professionals use these as a guideline to help them value compensation claims.
|£169,400 to £210,400
|Damage to or loss of one or both kidneys
|Up to £63,980
|Significant risk of infection in the future or other loss of natural function of the kidney
|£30,770 to £44,880
|Try Loss of one kidney with the remaining kidney unharmed
|£63,980 to £79,930
|Serious control impairment with discomfort and pain
|Digestive system illness/damage from non-traumatic injury (i)
|£38,430 to £52,500
|Severe toxicosis that could lead to a stay in hospital due to vomiting, diarrhoea, pain and fever
|Digestive system illness/damage from non-traumatic injury (ii)
|£9,540 to £19,200
|Serious poisoning that causes both diarrhoea and vomiting that although it lessens over the course of two-four weeks, some symptoms and discomfort remain
|Digestive system illness/damage from non-traumatic injury (iii)
|£3,950 to £9,540
|Fatigue, bowel changes and significant discomfort from poisoning
|Digestive system illness/damage from non-traumatic injury (iv)
|£910 to £3,950
|Varying degrees of disabling pain, cramps, and diarrhoea continuing for some days or weeks
|£20,800 to £26,290
|Where the spleen is lost and this causes an ongoing risk of infection because the immune system has been damaged
|£4,350 to £8,640
|Where there's little or no risk of infection because of immune system damage
The table has been created from the information provided by the 16th edition of the JCG. This edition was published in spring 2022.
If you’d like to have your claim assessed for free and find out if you are eligible to make a claim for compensation, contact us today. If you have a valid case, you could be provided with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.
Although it isn’t a requirement by law for a medical negligence solicitor to represent you and your claim, the law surrounding medical negligence is a complex topic. Therefore, you might find the prospect of claiming alone daunting. However, you might be put off by the prospect of paying a lawyer upfront.
No Win No Fee is an umbrella term that covers Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA). A CFA is a contract between you and your solicitor. It means that you won’t be asked to pay them upfront or as the claim progresses.
Furthermore, you won’t need to pay your lawyer for their services at all if your claim is not a success. If your case is successful, then you’ll have to pay a success fee to your solicitor. This is a legally-capped percentage of your settlement that your lawyer will deduct.
If this sounds like something you would like more information on, then call us on the number below. We have a team of experienced advisors that can provide you with guidance for your claim.
- Call us on 0800 652 3087
- Contact us through the online contact form
- Talk to us through the live chat feature
Learn More About Medication Errors In Hospitals
We have included more of our guides in the links below:
- How Long Does A Medical Negligence Claim Take?
- Misdiagnosis Claims
- GP Negligence Claims
- This guide explains your legal rights under medical negligence law if the wrong medication is dispensed and you’ve suffered an injury or illness as a result
Below, we have included external links that you might find useful:
Give us a call or speak to one of our advisors through our live chat feature. They could provide you with more guidance on medication errors in hospitals.
Writer Lizzie Wallace
Publisher Fern Stiles