What Are The Most Common Types Of Medication Errors?
What are the most common types of medication errors and how could you claim compensation as someone affected? Did you know that all UK healthcare providers have a duty to deliver treatment to a standard that would be expected across the profession? If an NHS or private clinical administered a level of care that fell below this expected standard and you were harmed, they could be liable to pay your damages.
This article looks specifically at how medication and prescription errors could result in causing you harm. Perhaps you or a loved one are already dealing with issues such as this? If so, why not get in touch to see how we can help you start a claim? You can:
- Call our knowledgeable team on 0800 073 8804
- Email or complete the online claim form at Legal Expert
- Or use the ‘live support’ option for immediate help
Select A Section
- What Are Medication Errors?
- Common Types Of Medication Errors
- How Can You Protect Yourself From Types Of Medication Errors?
- How Could We Help Victims Of Common Medication Errors?
- What Could You Claim For Different Types Of Medication Errors?
- Talk To An Expert Solicitor Today
When we consult our GP or pharmacist, or when we need to go to the hospital, we trust that the healthcare provider will be professional and provide us with the correct treatment we need. In fact, there is legal ‘duty of care’ across the medical profession that requires anyone who treats you or administers medication to do so correctly and to an expected standard.
This does not always happen and as such, certain medication errors can be considered medical or clinical negligence. Types of medication errors can include giving the wrong drug to the wrong patient, administering it incorrectly, failing to check medical records for allergies, or giving the right drug, but in the wrong amount. Failure to consult the patient or consult notes properly may also result in a medication error.
In addition to this, NHS pharmacists must operate within legislation called the Medicines Act 1968 and The National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013.
Not all medication errors will mean a person is eligible to make a medical negligence claim. However to find out if a medical professional is liable for the harm you suffered call our claims team today for further guidance.
A medication error can cause symptoms that range from something as minor as a rash to organ failure or even death. The Yellow Card scheme enables patients to report a medication problem instantly.
Some typical medication error scenarios can include the following:
When a patient is given too much or too little of their medication. Or when new instructions on how to take their drugs are not clearly explained to the patient, resulting in self-administering errors. Omission (not giving the medicine at all) could also be regarded as an improper dosage.
Wrong times or frequency errors
Certain types of medication must be given at specific times or intervals. Not following this regimen (or not explaining to the patient how to) can result in an uneven quantity of medication resulting in potentially causing them illness and harm.
Giving the wrong patient medication
Through a Freedom of Information request, the NHS has published figures for the types of medication errors. Perhaps in a hospital or care home setting, a nurse or doctor administered medicine to the wrong patient. This can be the result of not consulting patient notes correctly or being tired and overworked. Obviously, this could provoke serious side effects in one patient and impact the intended patient too.
Giving the wrong medication to a patient
This scenario could involve a health care practitioner administering an incorrect drug or substituting a branded version of what the patient is supposed to receive. If a patient is given the wrong medication this can not only have effects on their health but their current condition could worsen due to not being provided with the correct treatment.
Whether the types of medication errors have negatively impacted yourself or a loved one, there are practical steps you can take to safeguard against them which include:
- Consult with hospital staff about what you are being given, alerting them to any known allergies you have.
- Immediately notifying staff if you feel unwell
- Always double-checking your prescribed medication is correct
- Taking the medication according to the correct regimen
- Storing the medication correctly at home
- Reporting side effects or issues with your GP or pharmacist promptly
As you recover from a medication error, the first step is to access the correct medical advice to both restore your health and get you back on track with your original treatment. As we have previously said not all medication errors will entitle you to claim but why not call our team of advisers and they will assess your case for free.
At Legal Expert, we can help by connecting you with expert medical negligence solicitors in this field.
They can help arrange an independent medical assessment that clearly shows the extent or severity of the harm caused to you by the wrong medication given.
There is a way to complain directly to the NHS and you can also raise a concern about medical malpractice with the Care Quality Commission. This agency monitors, regulates, and investigates health services in the UK to ensure they meet fundamental standards.
As you do this, you can also start to pull together proof of harm for your compensation case, either independently or by taking advice from a solicitor about how to claim. But it’s important to remember there is a three-year time limit for making a claim like this, so don’t delay.
Clinical or medical negligence claims take into account two types of damages. General damages try to reflect the negative impact of a misdiagnosis such as pain, suffering, and loss of amenity. A medical assessment provides the facts for this. Figures that come from the Judicial College Guidelines have been used in the table below:
|injury type||how severe?||Judicial College Guidelines award bracket||supporting notes|
|psychological damage||severe (a)||£51,460 to £108,620||likely to be awarded for an acute and permanent type of mental damage|
|psychological damage||moderate (c)||£5,500 to £17,900||significant mental health issues that have improve by the time of trial|
|psychological damage||less severe (d)||up to £5,500||specific phobias that are not too intrusive into normal life|
|kidneys||serious (a)||£158,970 to £197,480||complete loss of function to both kidneys|
|kidneys||significant (b)||up to £60,050||future risk of loss of kidney function|
|kidneys||(c) loss of a kidney||£28,880 to £42,110||loss of function in one kidney|
|bowels||(b) total loss||Up to £140,870||cases where natural function is completely lost requiring colostomy|
|eyesight||(f)||£22,230 to £36,960||visual disturbances and light sensitivity, not quite to the level of eyesight loss|
|scalp||(a)||£6,890 to £10,340||hair loss. eczema and dermatits issues|
|brain damage||(c) moderate||£140,870 to £205,580||moderate to severe intellectual deficit|
Key to this chart is remembering that these amounts are not certified guarantees. Each claim for general damages differs depending on the exact circumstances and level of injury.
The second head of compensation (called special damages) takes into account any financial harm caused. To prove this, you would need to present invoices or statements. Any documentation that demonstrates how you needed to pay out funds in order to cope after your injuries. This could include issues such as:
- Money needed to pay for extra healthcare services to get well
- Loss of earnings while off work
- Changes to your home to accommodate your disability or illness
- Travel expenses to hospital
- Any other demonstrable costs that you can prove were directly linked to dealing with the medication error
When you get in touch, our team could connect you with medical negligence specialist who offers No Win No Fee agreements. The advantages of a legal agreement such as this are that:
- There are no fees to pay to secure the lawyer’s services
- There are no fees to pay as the case progresses
- If your case fails there are no fees to pay to the solicitor
- A case that wins requires a fee that is a maximum amount of 25%
As well as supporting you throughout your claim and explaining the legal jargon, a No Win No Fee solicitor can calculate absolutely the right amount of compensation to request. Furthermore, their advice and expertise can support you every step of the way through a sometimes complex and demanding process. Why not benefit from that help now by:
- Calling us on 0800 073 8804
- Emailing at Legal Expert
- Or using the ‘live support’ option, bottom right
Other Ways Expert Solicitors Could Help You
Below are some further resources concerning types of medication errors: