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Clinical Negligence specialist Michelle Woolls on Prescription Errors leading to GP Negligence Claims

My client was negligently prescribed Haloperidol, an anti-psychotic medication. It should always be started at a low dose and titrated up gradually to find an optimal balance between the benefits and side effects. The recommended starting dose in Schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses is 0.5 - 3mg, 2 to 3 times a day. My client was prescribed 20mg once a day. He did not require anti-psychotic medication and there seems to be no reasonable explanation available as to why this drug was prescribed at all, let alone why it was prescribed at such a high dose.
 
My client's condition deteriorated rapidly but despite this, the prescription error was not picked up on until some 34 days later. He was the victim of the following failings:-
  • error by the GP in prescribing Haloperidol at a very high dose;
  • error by the GP Practice staff in confirming that this was the correct medication and dosage when the pharmacist called the Practice to check;
  • error by the GP again in failing to pick up on the cause of my client's deterioration when he was reviewed a few days into taking the medication;
  • error by the hospital in subsequently failing to pick up on the cause of my client's deterioration.
As a result of taking such a high dose of Haloperidol for a period of 34 days, my client now suffers from the following symptoms which will be permanent:
  • A significant loss of mobility such that he is now wheelchair bound;
  • Urinary incontinence such that he now requires long term catheterisation;
  • Depression due to his loss of independence;
  • Heel and other pressure sores due to his loss of mobility;
  • Intermittent constipation and loss of bowel function.  
This highlights the seriousness of such Medical Negligence errors and the desperate need for improvements to be made.Contact us to talk about your GP negligence claim. Please call 0800 916 9049, email enquiries@rjwslatergordon.co.uk or use the short online enquiry form. Our dedicated medical negligence solicitors offer a free initial consultation to evaluate the circumstances of your accident and help you understand whether or not you have a case.

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