MG Legal Medical Negligence Case Study – Prescribed Incorrect Medication
Believe it or not, medical practitioners, and pharmacists prescribing, and dispending the wrong medication, happens more than you think. Trust us when we say, it is important that you always double-check your medication, prior to taking it.
MG Legal’s expert Medical Negligence Solicitors are instructed for a variety of Medical Negligence claims. Medical Negligence claims can sometimes be complex, with hotly disputed issues or differing views as to whether the Bolam Test has been passed or if the Consent process met the standards of Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board.
Claims for compensation, arising out of incorrectly prescribed medication, are however, some of the easiest, our solicitors specialising in medical negligence claims, are called upon to prove.
Many of the client that approach our solicitors that specialise in medical negligence cases, relate to simple and obvious mistakes made by the doctor, or dispensing pharmacist, which are clear cut and where there can be no doubt that an error, or indeed, medical negligence, has occurred. Such cases often arise when a certain medication is prescribed by a doctor, and then, during the prescription “filling” process, an incorrect one is dispensed. Whether this is because two prescriptions are mixed up, or the wrong medication is placed into a pack or bottle, the result is the same.
In these cases where a breach of duty is clear and obvious, the live issue is generally that of “causation” – whether the error actually caused any physical harm to the patient. There are a multitude of medicines in the world, some of which are harmless and others which can be very dangerous whether on their own, in a higher- than -expected dosage, when unwittingly mixed with another medication, or when administered to someone who has an allergy or a pre-existing condition that makes the effect much worse. For example, many antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives; the blood thinner, Warfarin, taken by people with blood clots or with heart valve conditions, shouldn't be mixed with ginseng, nor should it be used with aspirin, as it increases your chance of internal bleeding. If you have elevated blood pressure, even if you're on medication to control the pressure, you should not take over-the-counter oral nasal decongestants.
What happens in the real world – a Case Study of a claim successfully handled by MG Legal’s solicitors specialising in Medical Negligence Claims
Our medical negligence solicitors were recently approached by Mr D, after he had been prescribed the common blood thinner, Warfarin. There was nothing unusual in this because Mr D was a regular user of Warfarin, albeit, in relatively mild doses. Mr D had a problem when his regular clinic card was mixed up with another very similarly named patient Mr E, who took a much higher dose of Warfarin. As a result, a bespoke label was applied to Mr D’s prescription card which the pharmacist followed and so, Mr D went home with several weeks’ supply of a significantly increased dose of his usual medication, Warfarin. There being no obvious difference in the appearance of the tablets, Mr D took them in line with his normal routine, unaware he was inadvertently overdosing himself.
Problems started over the following week or so, when Mr D noticed that he bruised significantly more easily, a nosebleed would not stop for a long time, and that he felt particularly lethargic, and often unable to socialise and meet family, as he had once been able, and indeed looked forward to. On mentioning the issue to his family, none could immediately see a reason for Mr D’s apparent lack of energy, and enthusiasm, until they noticed that the name on his prescription was not quite right. On bringing this to the attention of the clinic, Mr D received an immediate apology, and the issue was rectified, with a new prescription dispensed, in the correct dose, this time. However, by that time, Mr D had not only suffered several weeks of bruising, excessive bleeding and lethargy, he was also now distressed and anxious about future medication and doses, and was therefore physically, and psychologically injured as a result of the medical error he has suffered.
How did MG Legal’s medical negligence solicitors help Mr D to conclude this matter?
Mr D approached MG Legal’s specialist Personal Injury department and he was quickly put in touch with an experienced Medical Negligence Solicitor. The issue with this case was not proving that there was an act of negligence, this being admitted quickly, but proving that the negligence had caused the symptoms Mr D suffered. Being confident in our own abilities and in our judgement, MG Legal signed Mr D up to a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee agreement) which meant that there was no risk to Mr D in pursuing the claim, nor did he have to pay legal fees from his own pocket in advance.
What kind of evidence was used?
Any personal injury claim is ultimately assessed by medical evidence from medical experts. In this instance, multiple experts were needed starting with a General Physician (a routine hospital doctor, rather than a Consultant), a Consultant Haematologist, and as there was a degree of psychological injury, a Clinical Psychologist. Together, the opinions of these three experts created a clear and expertly evidenced path explaining how the increased Warfarin affected Mr D physically and psychologically and so, from this, a “Causal link” between the negligence and the injuries Mr D suffered was proven.
How was Mr D’s claim for personal injury compensation calculated?
Using the medical reports we had obtained from the General Physician, Consultant Haematologist, and Clinical Psychologist we were able to ascertain the degree of the injuries sustained by Mr D, so Mr D’s dedicated Medical Negligence Solicitor was able to place a value on his claim; including, ensuring that future costs such as additional medical treatment were fully covered within the valuation. Armed with three strong medical reports, our medical negligence solicitors approached the insurer of the clinic with strong proposals for a favourable settlement. After several rounds of negotiation, Mr D received a favourable sum for his claim, this being around 10 times the sum than was offered to him initially. It really does pay to have experienced medical negligence solicitors on your side.
Do MG Legal deal with all accepted Medical Negligence cases on a “No Win No Fee” basis?
We do. Whenever a new enquiry is received, you will speak to a Medical Negligence specialist, who will listen to you and ensure your concerns are fully understood, and that all information is obtained early in the case. Depending on the level of investigation needed, we may be able to accept your claim on a “No Win No Fee” Agreement, straight away. Sometime we need to obtain your medical records and investigate further before this can be done. Rest assured that all of our pre-acceptance investigations are free and that whatever happens, you will not be billed up front for these. If we believe your claim is likely to succeed, we will offer a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win No Fee Agreement) to you to take the claim on formally. In the unlikely event we cannot see a way for your claim to succeed, we will not charge you for the investigations we have carried out.
If you, or a member of your family, believe you have been the victim of any kind of medical negligence in the past three years, or if you have only become aware of the negligence in the past three years, get in touch with MG Legal’s expert Medical Negligence Personal Injury Claims Department and we can help you achieve the result you need and get the answers you deserve, all on a No Win No Fee basis.
MG Legal-your local solicitors for medical negligence claims.