As A Patient I Was Given The Wrong Medication – Can I Claim?

Wrong medication given to a patient

Wrong medication given to a patient claims guide

This guide will provide information on whether someone could claim medical negligence compensation if wrong medication is given to a patient. The focus of this guide will be on making a claim for medical negligence, due to being harmed by a medication error. We will look at the way these mistakes happen, and how such an error could leave you in a position to make a claim.

However, please keep in mind that we cannot hope to cover every possible combination of circumstances that could lead to a claim. Therefore, you may have additional questions this guide has not addressed. In such a case, please call our team on 020 3870 4868 to get the answers you need. Or use our contact form to request a call-back.

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If The Wrong Medication Is Given To A Patient, Is This Medical Negligence?

If wrong medication is given to a patient, could you be eligible to make a medical negligence claim? Prescribers, dispensers and administrators of medication have a duty of care to all patients that they treat. This is not to cause unnecessary harm by deviating from professional standards. If you can prove that a medical professional provided substandard care that led to a medication error causing you harm this could be classed as medical negligence.

Duty Of Care Explained

Every medical professional such as your GP at your local GP surgery, a doctor, a nurse at a hospital, and even your dentist owes you a duty of care. To never do you any unnecessary harm. When this duty of care is not upheld, it could lead to you suffering harm in some way. And if you can prove that clinical negligence was the cause of this breach of duty of care, you may be able to make a compensation claim.

How Could The Wrong Medication Harm You?

If wrong medication is given to a patient, this could cause them to suffer in numerous ways. Medication errors can cause no harm at all while others can be life-altering or even cause fatalities.

There are a number of ways you could fall victim to a medication error, such as the ones listed below.

  • Your doctor gives you a medication you are allergic to because they failed to check your patient notes.
  • A pharmacist reads your prescription incorrectly and provides you with the wrong medication.
  • The nurse administrates the incorrect drug
  • You are given the wrong medication because it was an unauthorised drug.
  • You are given no medication because of a misdiagnosis which leads to delayed treatment.

Are Medication Errors Required To Be Reported?

If wrong medication is given to a patient, does it need to be reported? According to the Quality Care Commission (CQC), not all medical mistakes involving medication need to be reported. Only in the following situations must a report be made.

  • If the medication error resulted in an injury to a patient.
  • If a mistake with medication caused a death.
  • In cases where the medication error was part of some form of abuse.
  • When a police investigation was made.

What To Do If The Wrong Medication Is Given To A Patient

If you were given the incorrect medication by a medical professional then there are steps you could take if you are considering making a medical negligence claim. The following steps below could help strengthen any case you wish to bring. However, it is important to state that none of the below is medical advice so if you think you have taken the incorrect treatment you should seek medical advice straight away.

  • Decide whether the incident needs to be reported.
  • Get contact details for anyone involved, including witnesses.
  • Undergo a medical examination to prove the extent of the harm you suffered.
  • Potentially, you could make a complaint to the NHS in some cases.
  • Contact a lawyer who can help you prepare for making a claim.

When you are unsure if you have a valid case for medical negligence after being provided the wrong medication call our team. Our advisors will go through any evidence you have and provide you with free legal advice. When they can see that you might be awarded compensation they can connect you with a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

How Much Could I Claim For An Adverse Drug Reaction?

If your medical negligence claim for wrong medication being given to a patient is successful then you could be eligible for two different types of damages. General damages, are paid to you to make up for physical or mental pain and suffering. The table below gives some examples of injuries that could be caused by a medication error. We based this table on guidelines provided by the Judicial College. These guidelines are used by the legal system to help value claims.

Health Problem How Severe? Compensation Information
Kidney Damage a £169,400 to
Resulting in permanent and severe kidney damage.
Kidney Damage b Up to £63,980 Total loss of natural kidney function.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) a £52,500 to £84,010 Employment will be greatly reduces or eliminated fully.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe £59,860 to £100,670 Claimant’s life will be affected in all aspects. There will be no return to pre-trauma levels.
Non-traumatic Injury i £38,430 to £52,500 In an extreme case, toxicosis can cause fever, sickness, diarrhoea, and pain. Several weeks may be spent in hospital.
Non-traumatic Injury ii £9,540 to £19,200 Despite being a serious illness, it does not last very long. Diarrhoea, vomiting, and other symptoms reduce after about four weeks. It is possible that some symptoms may persist longer.
Non-traumatic Injury iii £3,950 to £9,540 You are in a high degree of discomfort when you have an illness. Fatigue, stomach cramps, and bowel dysfunction are common symptoms. Patients may need to stay in the hospital for a short time. Recovery usually takes up to two years.
Non-traumatic Injury iv £910 to £3,950 There are symptoms such as diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and excruciating pain. The symptoms may last for several weeks.

Special Damages Explained

The above table, only shows examples of general damages for harm suffered. However, we also need to consider special damages. These are paid to make up for financial losses. Either past or future. Documented evidence needs to be provided for any losses you wish to claim for. Examples include those listed below.

  • Loss of earnings, or future earning potential.
  • Ad-hoc losses that relate to your injuries or the claim itself. For example, for the cost of travel or using a document courier service to send paperwork to your lawyer.
  • Care costs, if you needed help taking care of yourself at home.
  • Private medical fees.

To find out what types of damages you might need to claim for, you can call and speak to our team. Once they know a little about your claim, they will be able to assist you with this.

No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claims

This guide has covered how a medication error could become the basis of a compensation claim. You may have more questions about claiming for medication negligence if wrong medication is given to a patient. If this is so, our team can help you with them. You just need to contact them using the information below to get started.

A No Win No Fee agreement could be used to help fund the service of the legal profession. This works by paying them a success fee from your settlement, that is capped by law, if you win your claim. If your claim fails then you will not need to cover this success fee,

Telephone: 020 3870 4868

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Useful Links

Here are some websites that have some more info.

NHS Resolution Homepage.

The Medicines Act 1968

Yellow Card Reporting

Here are some other claims guides to check over.

Claiming For Delayed Treatment

Do I Need A Medical Report?

Claim Time Limits Explained