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Gentamicin Kidney Toxicity Case

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As a result of Gentamicin toxicity (antibiotic poisoning), a medical negligence client was left with life-changing effects leaving him unable to work and needing care and assistance following hospital treatment and medication errors.

Our client is a married man living with a wife and two dependent children.  He previously worked as an accountant and was generally fit and healthy, with no medical issues. He suffered from a dilated aorta and was treated with an aortic valve replacement, from which he recovered.

Four years later aged 47 our client attended the Accident & Emergency Department at Chorley District Hospital with a fever of 39.9 °C and a painful right thumb.

The following morning, he complained of a three-day history of lethargy, fever, rigors, calf pain and increasing pain and discolouration of the thumb and fingers on his right hand. Thromboembolic disease was suspected as was Endocarditis, which is a life-threatening inflammation of the inner lining of the heart's chambers and valves.

Our client was treated various times with a mixture of antibiotics including Gentamicin, Flucloxacillin and Rifampicin.

Gentamicin and Nephrotoxicity

During the course of treatment, it was noted by the Doctor treating him that our client suffered from tinnitus “due to Gentamicin” and it was alleged by our medical negligence solicitors that no responsible cardiologist, physician or microbiologist would have approved of the continuation of Gentamicin following the advent of evidence of nephrotoxicity, as was the case here.

What is Nephrotoxicity?

Nephrotoxicity is the deterioration of kidney function due to the toxic effects of medications and chemicals. Gentamicin is known to be associated with nephrotoxicity and longer durations of treatment are known to be a risk factor.

In this case, our investigations revealed that over a 28-day treatment period, our client was subject to a total dose of around 3,420 milligrams of Gentamicin when the correct amount should have been in the region of 1,480 milligrams.

Speaking about the case, Medical Negligence Solicitor, Daniel Phelps commented:

“It was our case that concluded the exposure to Gentamicin from the 27 September to the 14 October was a material contributor to our client's current level of chronic kidney disease.”


After a distinct failure to manage his treatment and admitting a breach of duty of care, the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust made an out-of-court settlement for £175,000.

“This award took into account my client’s pain, suffering and lost amenities, care requirements, lost earnings and treatment requirements and hopefully he can now look forward and put this unpleasant episode behind him.

“We always hope lessons will be learnt from medical mistakes but all too often we see an overstretched NHS making the same mistakes with the administration of Gentamicin,” said Daniel.

How can we help

For professional legal advice on medical negligence cases contact our solicitors at 0161 785 3500 or email

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Daniel Phelps


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