Medication and Prescription Error Claims *
It is a normal process to visit your GP during a time of sickness where you are prescribed a certain medication to fight illness. In most cases, we take the medication in timely sequence with an exact amount of dosage but without ever checking the type of product or strength. Medication and prescription errors can happen by receiving the wrong medication from a qualified medical professional, leading to severe consequences and side effects. It is important to ensure that the medication given to you by the chemist matches the prescription you were instructed to get by the doctor. If you or a family member has experienced injuries due to medication and prescription error, you may be able to pursue medication and prescription error claim *.
Types of Prescription Errors
Medication and prescription errors * can generally be separated into two groups. The first case is when the prescription has been wrongly distributed by the pharmacist (prescription and dispensing errors). The second category is when the doctor prescribes a wrong prescription for the patient to which they were allergic to, causing severe health issues. Both groups are classed as medical negligence *.
Medication administration errors – combinations
The majority of medication is harmless to your health when taken by itself, but can react viscously when taken alongside with other medicines. Doctors should be knowledgeable of the combinations of medicine that are damaging to prescribe. Failing to be aware of this puts patient’s health at risk.
Incorrect dosage or wrong prescription
Each individual patient is given a recommended dosage from their GP. In some circumstances, the doctor can misjudge the dosage that was necessary which may lead to a patient overdosing on the medication. In cases where a doctor wrongfully prescribes medication to a person, this can seriously affect the person’s recovery and progression of their illness or injury.
The doctor may prescribe medication without checking your medical record which causes serious side effects to your health and can be life-threatening if not acted upon rapidly. This is classed as medical negligence *.
Medication errors in hospitals * can not only cause further illness by taking the wrong medication, but it can also result in the original illness not being treated, meaning the condition can deteriorate. Below are some prescription error examples in hospitals, the same errors can also be a cause of dispensing errors in a pharmacy:
A pharmacist or doctor may misread the handwriting on the prescription and dispense the wrong medication or the incorrect amount of dosage. This leads to patient mistakes in consuming medication or consuming by an incorrect method.
A doctor can decide to make an improper medical decision about what is the appropriate medication and write a prescription for the patient based on this decision. Inadequate awareness of medication names or the wrong knowledge of medical abbreviations can lead to medical and prescription errors *.
Errors in prescription writing
Doctors can make mistakes when writing prescriptions but the mistake may simply be illegible handwriting. In cases where a pharmacist cannot read the doctor’s writing, they may miscalculate a dosage because they cannot make out the dosage amounts which can cause injury to the patient. The only way of preventing medication errors like this is for the pharmacist to wither contact the doctor or wait until they have clear dosage instructions before dispensing the medicine.
Keep in mind that these types of errors can also be the fault of nursing staff on duty at the time. This is why it is important to know the full extent of the situation and how the accident happened when making a claim
Making a Claim *
1. Speak with a Solicitor *
If you feel that you were not provided with the appropriate medical treatment where your health was put at an unnecessary risk as of the result of the actions of a medical professional, speaking with a solicitor as soon as possible following the error is imperative. Medical negligence is a very complex topic in Irish law and attempting to bring a claim forward without having spoken to a solicitor specialising in medical and prescription claims may mean that you may miss a vital step of the process which could delay your claims procedure considerably.
2. Medical Records
In order to make medical and prescription error claim *, it must be established and proven that the error sustained was caused by the medical negligence * of the doctor that was tasked with your health. Therefore, after having spoken with you about your case, your solicitor will then request access to your medical records.
At this stage, the solicitor will have your medical record assessed by an independent medical expert. This will help determine whether the doctor who decided to prescribe the medicine had, in fact, administered substandard medical care and if medical negligence * was the cause of the error and if your injuries/outcome could have been avoided if the appropriate level of medical care had been adhered to.
3. Letter of Claim
If the independent medical expert has concluded that medical negligence has occurred then your solicitor will draft a Letter of Claim to the medical practitioner who prescribed the medicine to you. A Letter of Claim will outline the nature of your case and invites the medical practitioner to offer a settlement for the wrong prescription.
The next steps involved are heavily dependent on your case and response to your Letter of Claim and will determine whether your case will be brought to court or settled outside of court. Your solicitor will be on hand every step of the way to guide you through this process.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CLAIM *
At Tracey Solicitors, our dedicated medical negligence solicitors * have years of experience in helping parents deal with medical and prescription claims and dealing with the consequences of errors in medicine. We understand the injuries (physically and emotionally) that you have suffered and have supported and helped many people in similar situations proceed with medical negligence claims * in Ireland over the past 30 years. For a confidential discussion, call Caoimhe McConnell, Head Medical Negligence Solicitor, on 01 649 9900 and tell her about your case or reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and she can call you back.