What Are The Types of Medication Errors You Could Claim For?

Have you been impacted by medical negligence and need to know more about the types of medication errors that can happen? Perhaps you or a loved one were prescribed an incorrect medication that caused unnecessary pain, illness, or injury?

Types of medication errors

Medication Error Claims Guide

Was it the wrong dose, formulation, or strength? Did the nurse administer it in the wrong place? Perhaps staff were aware of your history of side effects and still used a certain drug? We trust pharmacists and healthcare providers to get it right but if they fail, you can be left with the consequences.

This article will offer you the information and resources to understand medication errors better and how to construct a compensation claim for medical negligence. Find out more right now by:

  • Speaking with our expert advisors on 0161 696 9685
  • Email or write to us at Advice.co.uk
  • Access immediate help through our ‘live support’ option

Select A Section

    1. Examples Of Types Of Medication Errors
    2. Errors In Prescribing Medications
    3. Errors In Dispensing Or Administering Medications
    4. Why Claim Compensation For Common Types Of Medication Errors?
    5. Check What You Can Claim For Different Types Of Medication Errors
    6. When A No Win No Fee Solicitor Could Help You

Examples Of Types Of Medication Errors

Firstly, it’s important to understand what types of medical errors there are and where they could happen. The healthcare sector has a duty of care to patients to ensure the service they receive is correct. There are generally accepted standards of practice that all pharmacists, GP’s, nurses, and doctors must adhere to. Should they fall below this standard in a way that causes you harm, they could be liable for medical or clinical negligence.

What could be considered a medication error:

  • Administering the wrong prescription
  • Failing to advise correctly on how to take a medication
  • Giving wrong dosage advice
  • Substituting a medication for an alternative or branded version
  • Omitting a medication
  • Placing an IV (intravenous) tube in the wrong site
  • Delivering care in an unrecognised or sub-standard way

An example could be a doctor failing to check patient notes and prescribing penicillin even though the patient has a known allergy to it. Or it could be administering the drug in the incorrect part of the body.

Medication errors that occur may not all be caused by medical negligence. A valid claim for medical negligence will involve proving that the practitioner was negligent when the prescription error occurred.

Pharmacists in particular are regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council and subject to the legislation in the Medicines Act 1968.

It is possible to report issues with your medical care to a regulatory body called the Care Quality Commission as well as complain to the NHS directly if you received sub-standard care or incorrect medication treatment and advice.

Statistics On Medical Errors

The British Medical Journal reported statistics relating to medication errors. Based on findings, it has been estimated that more than 237 million medication errors are made every year in England:

  • 54% of medication errors happen at the point of administration.
  • 21% of medication errors or 1 in 5 happen at the point of prescribing.
  • Dispensing errors have a percentage of 16%

In primary care errors are at their lowest but due to the size of the area account for 1 in 10 of the medication errors. Error issues are at the highest at 42% in care homes. About1 in 5 medication errors happen at a hospital environment. However 3 in 4 medication errors are considered to be minor.

Source : https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/237-million-medication-errors-made-every-year-in-england/

Errors In Prescribing Medications

Various healthcare staff are able to prescribe medication in a hospital or out patent setting but they must be qualified health professionals. Such as a:

If writing or imputing prescriptions is part of their daily duties, it’s essential that the healthcare professionals listed above do so carefully. Without proper attention a medication error could occur leaving you harmed as a consequence. Furthermore, there are several points through the prescription process where a mistake could happen, such as :

  • Imputing the wrong prescription details into the computer
  • Making up the prescription incorrectly in the pharmacy
  • Putting too much or too little in the medication
  • Confusing or substituting medications
  • Returning the prescription to the wrong patient
  • Failing to explain clearly to the patient how and when to take the medicine

Errors In Dispensing Or Administering Medications

Dispensing of medication usually happens at the pharmacy or when medication is being dispensed at a hospital or nursing home. Pharmacists have a duty of care as do doctors and nurses not to cause avoidable harm to their patients.

Errors could occur in dispensing at a pharmacy if the dispensing pharmacist mixes up two prescriptions and the patients receive the wrong medication. Or it could happen if the pharmacist puts together an adult dosage of a medication for a child. Confusing medication that has a similar name or prescribing the wrong dose are also recognised mistakes.

Administration errors could happen at a hospital, in a nursing home or when patients are visited in the community by a doctor or nurse. If the medication is administered in the wrong way, too much is given or the wrong medication is administered altogether then the patient’s health could deteriorate or they could suffer an entirely new illness.

An adverse drug reaction can have devastating consequences for the patient. With this in mind, a Yellow Card Scheme was set up to enable patients to report suspected side effects as soon as they can.

Why Claim Compensation For Common Types Of Medication Errors?

Medical negligence can have very serious consequences and a mistake with medication can cost lives. How do you begin to prove medical negligence? If you or a family member have suffered because of medication errors caused by medical negligence and you want to pursue a claim you could do the following to build evidence for your case:

  • Firstly, always seek medical advice in this situation
  • Report your ill health and seek proper medical attention
  • Raise a concern with your GP, pharmacy, or hospital
  • Retain the prescription or patient section, as well as any bottles and packaging
  • Request access to your medical records
  • Think about seeking legal advice.

Please note, that there is a three-year time limit for starting a medical negligence claim. This can start from the date of the negligence or from the date of knowledge – this can be when you link any suffering to medical negligence. There are also exceptions for minors or people who lack the capacity to represent themselves. Contact our team to find out more.

Check What You Can Claim For Different Types Of Medication Errors

Successful medical negligence claims are often made up of general damages and special damages. To compensate for the suffering caused by medical negligence general damages will be used to award compensation. Financial loss associated with medical negligence will be covered by special damages.

The table below has compensation brackets taken from guidelines by the Judicial College. The brackets amounts are derived from settlements that have been awarded in court cases. The table below illustrates:

Injury/IllnessHow Severe?Judicial College Guideline Award BracketNotes
Psychiatric harmModerate (c)£5,500 to £17,900Mental ill health reaction causing a wide range of mental health issues. But there will be signs of improvement and prognosis will be positive.
EyesMinor (g)£8,550 to £19,690Light sensitivity, double vision and minor but permanent damage
Brain DamageLess Severe (d)£14,380 to £40,410An award that reflects some poor concentration and memory which may affect lifestyle, social activities and work prospects.
KidneySerious (a)£158,970 to £197,480Damage or loss of both kidneys
KidneySerious (c)£28,880 to £42,110Loss of function in one kidney only
Dermatitis (c)up to £3,710Irritation, rashes or itching that heal within a few months
ToxicosisNon-Traumatic Injury (b) (i)£36,060 to £49,270Vomiting. diarrhoea, need for hospital admission
AnkleSevere (b)£29,380 to £46,980Need for a period in plaster or steel pins, future instability and risk of arthritis
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Moderate (c)£7,680 to £21,730Patient has mostly recovered with only minor persisting trauma issues

Please note: these amounts are guideline figures and not guaranteed.

Special Damages

Special damages are the next head of compensation that can be calculated and require documented proof to show how you suffered financially after any type of medication error. For example, you may have experienced:

  • A loss in earnings or income
  • Travel expenses
  • The cost of help at home with domestic issues
  • Adaptations to your home or car
  • The costs of additional therapeutic or rehabilitation needs

It can be possible to present all these expenses as part of your medical negligence compensation claim. Find out what other amounts you could claim back by getting in touch with our team.

When A No Win No Fee Solicitor Could Help You

Anyone can represent themselves in a claim for medical negligence compensation. But it’s important to remember that cases such as this can become complex and require close attention. As you recover from your illness, a solicitor working under a  No Win No Fee agreement could help.

Arrangements such as this (also called Conditional Fee Agreements) mean that a medical negligence expert can take up your case at no initial fee to you or any as the case moves ahead. If your case wins they require a maximum of 25% as their fee. Should your case fail, there is nothing to pay your solicitors under an arrangement like this.

Discover more about how a legal service such as this could benefit you today in one simple phone call.

  • Speak with our expert advisors on 0161 696 9685
  • Email or write to us at Advice.co.uk
  • Access help through our ‘live support’ option

Find Out More About Medical Negligence Claims

Please access the further resources below for more related information:

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Published by AL.