How To Claim For Medication Calculation Errors

Medication calculation errors claims

Medication calculation errors claims guide

On the page below, you will find a basic guide to making a compensation claim for medication calculation errors. These types of clinical negligence claims can be brought against the NHS or private healthcare providers. This guide applies to both.

When you seek medical attention, you’re entitled to a minimum standard of care. This applies when you’re being prescribed or administered medication in the same way it does when you’re undergoing an operation or seeking a diagnosis.

You can:

Select A Section:

What Are Medication Calculation Errors

When you are prescribed or dispensed medication, the medical professional involved is responsible for adhering to the duty of care that they owe you. This responsibility means that they have to act in a way that prevents you from coming to unnecessary harm.

However, mistakes can be made that lead to medication calculation errors. Such an error may cause you harm, either in the form of a new condition or injury, or a progression of your existing condition. If this happens and it was caused by a breach of duty of care, it may be possible to make a medical negligence claim.

This guide will give you a brief overview of making such a claim, including why you may be eligible to claim, and how to proceed. However, if you’d like more information feel free to contact one of our advisors.

Duty of Care Explained

When a medical professional is treating you, they have a duty of care towards you. However, this does not mean you can claim for all harm resulting from medical care.

In some cases, a doctor might need to harm you in order to treat you. For example, chemotherapy can make you feel ill and fatigued, But if it’s necessary in the course of treating cancer, you would not be able to claim. This is because the duty of care is not breached.

Furthermore, there might be cases where your doctor adhering to the duty of care cannot prevent you from being harmed. For example, you may be given a drug that you were allergic to but this allergy was unknown. Even if you had an allergic reaction and this caused you harm, you would not be able to claim.

Why Medication Errors Happen

There are many ways that medication errors can occur. These errors could result in you taking the wrong medication, or the wrong dose of the right medication, for example. Below, we give some example scenarios:

  • You are given the wrong prescription medication at a pharmacy due to incorrect labelling.
  • An improper dose of medication is given because a nurse in a hospital misread your chart.
  • An administrative error results in a drug being given to the wrong patient.
  • You are told to take too much of a drug because your doctor has a lapse in memory.

For more examples of how medication calculation errors could occur, speak with an advisor today.

Underprescribing Vs Overprescribing

Underprescribing or overprescribing medication can result in the wrong dose being taken. These can each be harmful in their own way:

  • If you are overprescribed a drug, then this means that you’re taking more than you need to or than is recommended. This can be harmful, as some drugs can cause overdose if too much is taken.
  • If you’re underprescribed a drug, this means that you’re told to take less than you need. This could mean that your condition is left untreated, and gets worse than it otherwise would have as a result.

If you become the victim of a medication error that means you receive the wrong amount of medication, and this leads to harm, you may be able to make a compensation claim. Contact us today to see if your circumstances could form the basis of a valid medical negligence claim.

How Could You Be Harmed By Medication Calculation Errors?

Medication calculation errors can cause serious problems with your health. If you are given a dosage that is wrong, it can have a severe impact on your body. Some of the ways you could be harmed are listed as examples below:

  • Damage to an organ such as your kidneys.
  • The medication may, at the wrong dose you were given, react with another drug you are taking.
  • Your underlying medical condition could become worse, due to not being medicated effectively and a delay in treatment.
  • You could go into anaphylactic shock because you’re given a drug that you were known to be allergic to.

These are just a handful of examples of the medical issues a medication error could cause. There are, of course, many more. If you believe your health has suffered due to a breach of a medical professional’s duty of care, call our team. They can tell you whether you have a potential negligence claim for the harm you suffered.

How Do I Start My Claim?

Before starting a claim for a medication calculation error, there are some steps you may wish to take. These can help you support and prove your claim. They include:

  • Seek professional medical care to deal with any symptoms the medication error has caused. You could use the report generated from this treatment as evidence.
  • Contact any relevant party that you need to make a complaint or a report to about the medication error. For example, if the incident happened in an NHS facility, you could complain directly to them.
  • Collect any evidence that could support your claim. For example, photographs of badly printed medication labels or CCTV that shows you being administered a dose of medication twice.
  • If appropriate, ask any witnesses to the event for their contact details. They can provide a statement at a later date.

One of our advisors can let you know the evidence that will be useful in your specific circumstances. Get in touch today for free legal advice about claims for medication calculation errors.

What Could You Claim For Harmful Medication Calculation Errors?

If you do make a successful claim for medication calculation errors, the amount of compensation you receive will be based on your circumstances. You may receive compensation to cover the pain. suffering and loss of amenity your injuries have caused you. This includes physical and psychological pain. This part of your compensation is called general damages.

The table that we have included below gives examples of these general damages. We have based this table on information taken from the guidelines produced by the Judicial College.

Health Problem Compensation Information
Digestive system: Non-traumatic Injury (i) £36,060 to £49,270 When a toxicosis is present, it produces terrible symptoms, such as diarrhoea, fever, and pain. In some cases, the patient is required to stay in the hospital for several weeks.
Digestive system: Non-traumatic Injury (ii) £8,950 to £18,020 Despite being a serious condition, it doesn’t persist for a long time. The symptoms of diarrhoea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal problems normally subside after about four weeks. Minor symptoms may persist for longer periods of time.
Digestive system: Non-traumatic Injury (iii) £3,710 to £8,950 Acute illness can cause great discomfort. Fatigue, nausea, and problems with bowel movements are often accompanying symptoms. Patients may have to stay in the hospital. Recovery often takes up to a year.
Digestive system: Non-traumatic Injury (vi) £860 to £3,710 The symptoms include severe diarrhoea and stomach pain, as well as excruciating pain. They can last up to several weeks.
Kidney (a) £158,970 to £197,480 In this case, there was severe and permanent kidney damage.
Kidney (b) up to £60,050 Other types of kidney impairment, such as an infection, are possible in the future.
Death: Full awareness £11,770 to £22,350 When a victim suffers a serious injury, he or she is fully alert before losing consciousness. Typically death occurs between 2 weeks and 3 months after injury.
Spleen (a) £19,510 to £24,680 Loss of spleen and ongoing risk of internal infection because of the impact on the immune system.
Spleen (b) £4,080 to £8,110 Where there is no risk of internal infection, or this risk is minimal.
Kidney (c) £28,880 to £42,110 One kidney is lost but there is no damage to the other.

Special Damages – An Overview

Alongside general damages, you may also be entitled to claim special damages. Special damages compensate you for the financial losses your injuries resulted in. You will need to back up your claim with documented proof of these losses.

Special damages can be paid for many reasons. For example, to make up for a loss of earnings due to taking time away from work. Private medical costs and care costs may also be covered.

You can call and speak to a claim advisor, and they can let you know what could be included in your claim. If you have a valid case, they could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

Discuss Your No Win No Fee Claim With Us

A No Win No Fee agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, sets out the conditions that need to be met before you pay your lawyer. These kinds of agreements are only offered to claimants who have a good chance of success.

A No Win No Fee agreement means that you will not be asked to pay your lawyer anything upfront or anything as the claim progresses. If you’re not successful in making your claim, you will not be asked to pay your solicitor.

The only time you will be asked to pay is if you’re awarded compensation. Then, your solicitor will take a legally-capped success fee from your compensation award.

Call and talk to our claim advisors for more free legal advice about making claims for medication calculation errors. Contact us using the information below.

Read More About Medical Negligence

Here are some useful web links.

The Yellow Card Scheme

Patient Safety Alerts

NHS Advice On Poisoning 

Here are some more of our guides.

Claims For An Operation Gone Wrong

Is There A Time Limit To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?

Birth Injury Claims 

For more information on the medication calculation errors claims process, get in touch today.

Writer CE

Checked by NC