Medical Negligence*

Pharmacy Overdose 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 this medication in a timely sequence with an exact amount of dosage without ever checking the type of product or strength.

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How Can Pharmacy Overdoses Happen?

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 pharmacy 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 a pharmacy overdose claim*.

Types of Prescription Errors

Defective drug, 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) which has caused illness or injury to the patient. The second category is when the doctor prescribes a wrong prescription for the patient 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 when prescribed together. Failing to be aware of this can cause severe illness or injury to the patient.

Incorrect Dosage or Wrong Prescription

Each individual patient is given a recommended dosage from their doctor. In some circumstances, the doctor can misjudge the dosage that was necessary which may lead to a patient becoming ill due to overdosing on the prescribed medication. In cases where a doctor wrongfully prescribes medication to a person can seriously affect the person’s recovery and progression of their illness or injury.

Medical Allergy

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

Medication errors in hospitals* can not only cause further illness by taking the wrong medication, but can also result in the original illness not being treated, meaning the condition can deteriorate.

Causes

Below are some prescription error examples which can happen in hospitals, GP surgeries and pharmacies:

Inadequate Labelling

A pharmacist or doctor may misread the handwriting on the prescription and dispense the wrong medication or the incorrect amount of dosage. This error may lead to the patient sustaining severe health issues.

Incorrect Knowledge

A doctor may 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 a medication overdose injury*.

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 a medication overdose injury*. The only way of preventing medication errors like this is for the pharmacist to either 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 caused by nursing staff on duty at the time, who may be responsible for distribution of a patient’s medication. This is why it is important to know the full extent of the situation and how the accident happened when making a claim.

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Our helpful team

Need Help? Just Ask.

For more information and a confidential discussion on your medical negligence claim*, call Elaine Hickey, Head Medical Negligence Solicitor, on +353 1 649 9900 and tell her about your medical malpractice case or reach out via email to ask@traceysolicitors.ie and she can call you back.

How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist medical negligence* solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Speak with a solicitor

    If you feel that you were not provided with appropriate medical treatment whilst under the care of a medical professional which resulted in injury due to the actions or in-actions of a medical professional, then speaking with a medical negligence solicitor* following the injury is imperative. Medical negligence is a complex topic in Irish law. Speak to a medical negligence solicitor when bringing a claim forward. This ensures that no essential steps are missed throughout the legal process. Bringing a claim forward without having spoken to a solicitor can delay your claims procedure. A solicitor can help to determine your medical negligence time limit claim.

  2. Obtain medical records

    In order to make a claim*, it must be established and proven that the injury sustained was caused by the medical negligence* of the doctor or medical staff tasked with your medical care. 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 records assessed by an independent medical expert. This will help determine whether a surgeon or medical staff who treated you had, in fact, administered substandard medical care and if negligence* was the cause of the injury 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 treated you. A Letter of Claim will outline the nature of your case and invites the medical practitioner to settle your case. 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.

At Tracey Solicitors, our dedicated medical negligence solicitors* have years of experience in helping people deal with traumatic medical injury claims. We understand the injuries, both 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 more information and a confidential discussion on your medical injury claim, phone 01 649 9900 or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case, where you can speak with a member of our team straight away.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a medical negligence claim* you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses, you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a medical negligence injury*.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the medical negligence injury*, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital) and future care costs. Learn more about Special Damages

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim vary depending on the situation. When taking into account how long medical negligence claims take, it is important to remember that medical negligence cases* require certain time frames in place within which you can bring a claim. For medical negligence claims* it is two years less a day following the date of the incident or two years less a day following the date that a person made the connection that their illness or injuries were a result of medical negligence*. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Medical Negligence* Involving Children

In an unfortunate incident where a child is subject to medical negligence*, the process of making a claim differs from that of an adult. A minor can bring a claim forward in the first two years following their 18th birthday.

Learn more about Legal Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors

We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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Our friendly and experienced team are waiting to answer your call. Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

+353 1 649 9900

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