Antibiotic poisoning can happen in a variety of ways, but one of the most common causes of toxicity is Gentamicin and our Medical Negligence Solicitors have years of experience dealing with these cases
Gentamicin is a widely used and powerful antibiotic, used to treat bacterial infections, however, it must be administered with caution as it can potentially cause a number of problems when given inappropriately.
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What is Gentamicin?
Gentamicin is an aminoglycoside; other antibiotics in this family include Vancomycin, Tobramycin, Streptomycin, Neomycin, Amikacin and Netilmicin. It is a particularly strong type of medication that destroys bacteria, including MRSA and C Diff. It may be used to treat infections of the skin, bone, stomach, blood and urinary tract.
Gentamicin can, however, lead to serious side-effects. Gentamicin is potentially ototoxic (potentially damaging to the organs of the ear, specifically the auditory nerve, cochlea or vestibular system) and nephrotoxic (potentially damaging to the kidney). Therefore, it is vital that Gentamicin is prescribed with the utmost care taking into account factors such as the patient’s age, height, weight and kidney function. A dose that is too high, or given for too long, could well cause the patient to suffer complications.
As with all medical interventions, informed consent to treatment with Gentamicin should always be obtained. This should include advice on the risks and benefits of Gentamicin and also on the alternative treatments.
Gentamicin Induced Vestibular Toxicity
This is relatively common and a prospective study has shown some degree of vestibular toxicity in 9.1% of patients treated with intravenous Gentamicin and symptomatic toxicity in 3% of such patients.
It is also known that vestibular toxicity can occur even when serum levels are within the published safe ranges. In a series of patients with vestibular toxicity in whom records of drug levels were retrieved, 61% had maintained acceptable serum concentrations. Close monitoring cannot be taken as a guarantee of a safe outcome.
Side-Effects and Symptoms of Gentamicin Toxicity (also called Gentamicin Poisoning)
If Gentamicin is administered inappropriately a patient is likely to experience a condition known as Gentamicin Toxicity (also called Gentamicin poisoning). Gentamicin Toxicity is known to cause any of the following:
- Kidney damage and renal failure
- Nerve damage
- Ototoxicity (damage to the ear, such as hearing loss, vertigo or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Balance problems
- Problems with memory, concentration and fatigue
- Oscillopsia (bouncing vision)
Kidney function tests should be carried out before a course of Gentamicin is prescribed and if there are then concerns the time interval between doses of this drug should be lengthened or a lower dosage considered.
Careful monitoring should be undertaken: with ongoing monitoring of the dosage level and timing, as well as close monitoring of the patient’s blood, especially before further doses are given, to check for toxicity.
All hospitals should have strict treatment protocols to follow, but mistakes can occur and in some serious cases of Gentamicin poisoning, patients have died or been left with life-changing injuries.
If you were prescribed Gentamicin during a hospital stay and you are experiencing any side-effects, please contact us to learn more about Gentamicin poisoning and your legal options for seeking compensation for the damage you may have suffered.
Contact a Gentamicin Negligence Solicitor
Pearson Solicitors are experienced in handling cases involving Gentamicin Toxicity and have helped people receive significant compensation for their pain, suffering and other financial losses. If you have suffered Gentamicin Poisoning related problems as a result of medical negligence, you may be eligible to make a compensation claim – we can quickly help you to decide whether or not it is feasible to make a claim and can advise you on No Win No Fee and other potential methods of funding.
Call us today on 0161 785 3500 to arrange for your free consultation with an experienced Gentamicin Negligence Solicitor.