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Pharmacy Makes Same Mistake in Medication Error

View profile for Gemma Miller
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Location is not always crucial when lodging a complaint or a legal case as a recent medication error case proves – our client was from Kent and our medical negligence team managed her whole case online securing a recent £2769 settlement for her.

At Pearson Solicitors we deal with a wide range of clients across the country and it’s not only due to homeworking and the coronavirus pandemic – at all times we are able to manage cases remotely and agree on settlements for our clients which in many cases prevents them having to travel to offices and court hearings, especially when they have been ill.

Medication Error Claim

In this case the client’s local pharmacy in Kent dispensed the wrong tablets and on a separate occasion the same chemist gave her the wrong dose of medication, literally doubling our client’s dose overnight by mistake which resulted in an initial claim of £2,000.

“To be wrongly prescribed once I can see might be a mistake but twice is no joke and something must be done about this,” said the 38 year-old mum.

In the most recent case she was given blood pressure medication instead of antidepressants. The replacement of Losartan tablets instead of Sertraline left her with headaches, feelings of dizziness, fatigue, mental confusion, anxiety and a rapid heartbeat.

During this period the client had to rely on family members for emotional and physical support, household and childcare duties.

She only noticed the mistake after taking the wrong medication for 22 days, the box was correctly labelled up Sertraline, but the actual tablets inside were the wrong ones.

In shock she was immediately in touch with her GP and visited the surgery.  It was found that her blood pressure was low as a result of taking the wrong medication and she was advised to stop all her medications for a 7 day period.

“We would always urge patients to double check both the box and its contents as all too often we are seeing prescription errors from both local and national pharmacy chains,” said Pearson Solicitors Medical Negligence Paralegal Gemma Miller.

“In the intervening period (as a result of the fact she had ceased taking all her medications) our client’s pain in respect of ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia and historic knee injury was uncontrolled and she was unable to sleep. She also continued to suffer with increased anxiety as she still could not take the full dose of Sertraline and all of the above had a negative impact on her mental health.”

Her shock on discovering this dispensing error was compounded by the fact that the same pharmacy had made an error back in 2017 when they wrongly dispensed Nortriptyline 25mg instead of Nortriptyline 10mg. This added to her anxiety.

Previous Medication Error Case

In the previous case at the same pharmacy she had been given Nortriptyline as one small box (containing 50 tablets) and one large box (containing 100 tablets) and so decided to use the small box first. Before she went to bed the Claimant took four tablets from the small box of newly dispensed medication.

Unaware of the mistake she continued to take the wrong dosage and began to feel extremely dizzy, sleepy and shaky and had a constant headache. She also felt stressed and short tempered. The Claimant thought her symptoms could possibly be due to the change in medication and so she persevered. In a telephone consultation with her GP she was told to persist with Nortriptyline and telephone the surgery again if her symptoms did not improve. The Claimant took further medication until a few days later she noticed the smaller box of pills had been incorrectly dispensed and she had ingested 500mg of Nortriptyline instead of the prescribed amount of 200mg.

She continued to feel unwell, could barely stand up, her legs were shaking and she was vomiting and sweating. In a further consultation with her GP her medication was changed back to her usual Amitriptyline and she began to recover.

“A prescription error can lead to some pretty unpleasant side effects and clients quite rightly want to make sure lessons are learnt and checks in place to prevent further mistakes.  In this case the client was doubly unlucky and deserved to be compensated for her pain and suffering,” said Medical Negligence Paralegal Gemma.

For advice on how to make a claim for medication error and mistakes by a pharmacy contact our specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or enquiries@pearsonlegal.co.uk

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.