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"Drug errors in England cause appalling levels of harm and deaths"

View profile for Tim Edwards
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So says the Health Secretary, Mr Jeremy Hunt, following new data compiled by researchers drawn from Manchester, Sheffield and York universities.

It is further reported that GPs, pharmacists, hospitals and care homes may be making 237 million errors a year – the equivalent of one mistake made for every five drugs handed out – and that these errors could be a factor in upwards of 22,000 deaths each year.

A drug error ratio of one in five, equivalent to 20% of all drugs dispensed, is staggeringly high and includes:

  • wrong medications dispensed;
  • inaccurate doses dispensed;
  • usage being extended beyond that which is necessary;
  • allergic reactions;
  • delays in dispensation;
  • inaccurate combination of drugs.

Whilst it is true that in many cases errors do not lead to harm, nonetheless the research shows, and experience tells us, that where mistakes such as those identified above are made, this can lead to unnecessary suffering and as the figures show, in many cases, unnecessary deaths.  If you have been the victim of a drug error and such has resulted in injury or worse, then you may be in a position to pursue a claim for compensation on the basis of what is generally referred to as clinical negligence.

The Clinical Negligence team here at Roythornes has considerable experience with claims of this nature having obtained suitable levels of compensation in a number of cases including:

  • excessive use of anaesthesia during surgery causing in-leg stasis resulting in the patient developing deep vein thrombosis;
  • an inaccurate dispensation of warfarin medication where the patient was given 10 times the strength of that intended by the GP, resulting in serious damage and the need for emergency hospital treatment.

If you believe you have been affected by errors such as those illustrated above then please contact the team here at Roythornes who will be happy to assist.