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Iona Millais comments on prescription errors

We are frequently instructed on prescriptions errors. My Colleague James Bell recently blogged that medication errors make up a fifth of all errors occurring in general practice. The majority of prescription errors lead to minor side effects. A patient may suffer adverse symptoms for a few weeks and/or it delays the recovery of an underlying condition which is untreated as a result of the error. These sorts of cases thankfully have minimal consequences on the patient.
However, I am instructed on a case where my client was given penicillin despite having a known allergy. She was being treated for a viral chest infection. As expected she suffered an extremely unpleasant reaction to the penicillin which lasted for a few weeks. However, far more devastating was the fact that the penicillin allergy prompted the underlying viral infection to enter a second phase. This has caused my client to develop chronic fatigue syndrome.
I am confident I will recover substantial damages for my client to include a loss of earnings and care claim. But money will be poor recompense; she feels robbed of her life. Previously extremely active, she now struggles to climb stairs and continue a job she loved as a community carer.
This case highlights the importance of having stringent policies and protocols in place to ensure that these avoidable errors do not happen.Iona Millais is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.