Incorrect medication claims are very common. Each incorrect medication claim is avoidable, yet they happen all the time. You can get very ill or even suffer long-term health problems from an incorrect medication.
You would not have to suffer from an incorrect medication if the pharmacy, hospital or doctor followed their rules. Medication errors happen, and pharmacy customers and patients suffer needlessly as a result.
A medical negligence solicitor handles compensation claims for incorrect medication. They will guide you through the process and get you the money you deserve for any injury from the incorrect medication.
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What is an incorrect medication claim?
An incorrect medication claim is when a pharmacy, hospital or doctor gives you the wrong medication for your condition. You can get very ill from taking incorrect medication.
Instead of taking the correct medication to treat your symptoms, you are taking a completely different one. Being given an incorrect medication can happen in any medical setting.
Knowing more about the different types of incorrect medication claims will help with your compensation case.
What are the different types of incorrect medication claims?
The different types of incorrect medication claims include receiving the wrong medication, being given someone else’s prescription and being given the wrong box. The error can happen at the pharmacy, the hospital or the GP’s surgery.
Pain, prolonging your original symptoms and being ill are reasons behind incorrect medication claims. Wherever the medication error happens, you can claim compensation for the negligence.
Types of incorrect medication claims include:
Getting an incorrect medication from the pharmacy
Getting incorrect medication from the pharmacy is behind many incorrect medication claims.
In every pharmacy, two pharmacists should always check the medication before giving it to you. Both pharmacists initial the label to ensure the label matches the medication box.
All too often, these checks are not done or done in a hurry, resulting in an incorrect medication claim.
People regularly walk out of the pharmacy with the wrong medication through no fault of their own, as the correct checks were not done.
The wrong medication box with the correct label
The wrong medication box with the correct label happens when a pharmacist picks up the wrong box and sticks the correct label on it. When the pharmacist fills the prescription, they then give you an incorrect medication.
It may sound avoidable, and it is, but this happens with many incorrect medication compensation claims.
A mix-up with similar medication names
A mix-up with similar medication names can easily happen at the pharmacy when they do not practice due care. The pharmacy that follows guidelines and double-checks all medication will not have an incorrect medication claim.
Examples of incorrect medication claims are a mix-up between pantoprazole and paroxetine. The names may sound very similar, but the side effects can be severe.
You require paroxetine for depression but are given pantoprazole, a medication to prevent stomach acid reflux, by mistake. You suffer a quadruple whammy of an abrupt stop of your paroxetine, side effects from the pantoprazole, the ongoing impact of not having your paroxetine, and, when the mistake is realised, a longer time for the correct medication to take effect.
Other mix-ups with similar medication names include quetiapine and quinine sulphate or fluoxetine and flucloxacillin.
Medical staff not following a surgeon’s medication instructions
Medical staff not following a surgeon’s medication instructions can have a devastating effect on a patient.
After surgery, your surgeon will tell staff that you should be on blood thinners to protect against a DVT developing which can lead to a pulmonary embolism.
A simple mistake by nursing staff not following the surgeon’s medication instructions could result in a clot developing and moving to your lungs, with fatal consequences.
Being given an incorrect medication dose in hospital
Being given an incorrect medication dose in hospital leads to many incorrect medication claims. The doctor will provide dose instructions by going from your notes. An overdose can happen if the doctor misreads your notes or the medical staff does not follow guidelines.
An overdose of morphine can result in respiratory arrest with many side effects. You will require an antidote such as naloxone and even a longer stay in hospital.
An incorrect medication and mental health
An incorrect mediation and mental health are a devastating combination. A patient is prescribed medication to treat a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety. The medication is like a precise tool, and only it will work for your mental health.
When a medication that balances your mental health is suddenly and mistakenly replaced with an incorrect medication, it can be devastating for you and those around you.
The effects of the incorrect medication can have a huge impact, such as the need for inpatient treatment or someone needing to be sectioned for their own safety.
You may not realise your medical problems result from incorrect medication. Recognising the symptoms of an incorrect medication is vital to knowing if you have a valid compensation claim.
What are the symptoms of incorrect medication?
Symptoms of incorrect medication include vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, and irritability. With mental health issues, old problems can reoccur and with devastating effects.
Other symptoms can lead to hospitalisation, such as respiratory problems, a slow or fast heart rate and your blood pressure being above or below where it was meant to be. In some extreme cases of incorrect medication claims, death can occur.
Knowing the symptoms and why you are experiencing them will help in getting the correct medical treatment as quickly as possible.
Why do incorrect medication claims happen?
Incorrect medication claims happen because of pharmacy negligence, GP negligence or hospital negligence. Incorrect medication claims do not need to happen, but sadly they do.
When you suffer from incorrect medication, you must first identify where it happened.
The pharmacy is a common culprit
The pharmacy is a common culprit behind the majority of incorrect medication claims.
Every pharmacy has a buddy system, where two pharmacists are supposed to check every box and initial the label before handing it to the customer
Despite this system, incorrect medication is handed to people daily. Either the pharmacy does not follow the buddy system or is negligent in implementing it.
By not following the two-pharmacist system, there is no guarantee that you will get your correct prescription. The pharmacy could easily put someone else’s medication in your bag or a mixture of yours and another person’s medication.
You may not notice the incorrect medication
You may not notice the incorrect medication in your bag. One reason is that you trust the pharmacy to dispense the correct medication rather than the incorrect medication.
Another reason is that your pharmacy uses generic medications.
They constantly change from one supplier to another with different colour boxes and tablets. People on long-term medication are used to their medication changing size and shape and don’t realise they have been given the incorrect medication.
Negligence in the pharmacy should not happen, and you can file an incorrect medication claim if you suffer injury as a result.
The GP not changing your prescription
The GP not changing your prescription on request from the consultant is another source for an incorrect medication claim.
After you visit the consultant, they will write to your GP about a medication change. They may ask the GP to prescribe you a new medication, change your dosage, or give you a course of medication but only for a fixed period.
Sometimes a GP may miss the request altogether and fail to action it. The GP may prescribe incorrect medication or fail to stop the medication as instructed.
GP errors with your prescription often result in an incorrect medication claim.
How do I claim for an incorrect medication?
You claim for an incorrect medication by finding a medical negligence solicitor who specialises in pharmacy negligence claims. They will outline the steps involved and advise you on how to follow them.
Step 1: Preserve the evidence
Preserve all the evidence you have by taking pictures of the medication box, label and contents. Do this as soon as you realise you have suffered from an incorrect medication.
You should not throw any evidence away, such as receipts or the bag you got with the incorrect medication.
Step 2: Report the mistake
Report the mistake to the pharmacy, GP or hospital responsible for giving you the incorrect medication. They should undertake an investigation to work out how the error happened and report back to you.
It is important to recognise that this internal investigation is not a compensation claim but a separate investigation which will be useful for your incorrect medication claim.
Once you receive a copy of this investigation, you pass it to your medical negligence solicitor, handling your incorrect medication claim.
Step 3: Getting your medical records
Getting your medical records, if you suffered illness from the incorrect medication, is the next step. Your medical negligence solicitor will want access to your records to see what should be happening with your medications.
By obtaining your medical records and the investigation report from the negligent party, they can judge if you have a valid incorrect medication claim.
Step 4: Sending a letter of claim
Sending a letter of claim to the pharmacy or hospital happens when the solicitor sees clear evidence of an incorrect medication claim.
In the letter of claim, they will outline exactly what happened and seek compensation for your incorrect medication claim.
The negligent party has four months to reply to the letter of claim.
Step 5: Receiving and reviewing the letter of response
Receiving and reviewing the letter of response from the negligent party is the next step. In the letter, the pharmacy, GP or hospital’s solicitor will accept the blame or deny responsibility.
If the negligent party accepts responsibility, which they usually do, your solicitor will sit down with them and work out your compensation claim.
Step 6: Issuing court proceedings
Issuing court proceedings happen when the negligent party denies responsibility. It rarely happens with an incorrect medication claim, as the evidence is nearly always clear-cut and undeniable.
Less than 1% of medical negligence claims go to a court trial.
Your medical negligence solicitor will issue the court proceedings and advise you on the process.
How long will an incorrect medication claim take?
An incorrect medication claim will not take long to settle. They often settle within three to six months if you follow all the steps and use an expert medical negligence solicitor.
Incorrect medication claims are the fastest out of all types of medical negligence claims to reach an agreement as the evidence is firmly in your favour.
When you have an expert incorrect medication solicitor working for you, the claims process will go quickly and smoothly.
The Medical Negligence Team operate a very efficient and successful incorrect medication claims process. We know how to get a quick result for your incorrect medication claim and one in your favour.
How much will I receive for an incorrect medication claim?
You will receive from £1000 to more than £100,000 for an incorrect medication claim. £1,000 for a few weeks pain and suffering perhaps more then £100,000 to £1 million if a key earner for a family is killed as a result of incorrect medication.
The claims are typically valued depending on the effect the incorrect medication has on your health, your income, and the need for long-term care.
A claim is assessed in terms of General Damages and Special Damages
General damages compensate you for ill effects on your health, such as pain and suffering.
In an incorrect medication claim, general damages range from £1,000 to more than £10,000, depending on the effects on your health.
Special damages cover the aspects of any long-term care requirements or loss of earnings due to an incorrect medication claim.
If the primary wage earner in the home cannot work and needs constant care due to an incorrect medication, the compensation awarded can run into the £1Ms.
Using a No Win No Fee solicitor
Using a No Win No Fee solicitor is the only way to a successful incorrect medication claim. Your No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitor will not charge you for a claim you do not win.
The medical negligence solicitor should also operate a 100% Compensation Guarantee scheme. When you win the case, all the money awarded should go to you, not the solicitor.
You are the one who suffered, and you deserve the compensation to get your life back to normal.
Make a claim for pharmacy negligence today
Contact us at the Medical Negligence Team for all your incorrect medication claims. We have the experience and expertise to fight your case to a swift and successful conclusion. The Medical Negligence Team operates a No Win No Fee policy and a 100% Compensation Guarantee.
Contacts us today for all your medical negligence needs.