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Prescription Error & Medication Negligence Claims

If a medical professional has prescribed a form of medication in error, it can potentially result in grievous physical or mental health side effects. If a prescription error has caused you distress or injury, you may be eligible to make a claim for medication error negligence.

Medication negligence

Helpful Information

Medical negligence involving medication can include situations where the long-term inappropriate prescription of medication gives rise to injury.

The importance of regular monitoring

Those providing you with treatment must monitor your condition closely. For instance, a person on blood pressure medication should be having their blood checked regularly. If flags thrown up on routine tests are not picked up on, serious consequences can flow from the continued prescription of the medication, including renal failure requiring otherwise avoidable dialysis.

Similarly, a situation could arise where somebody who is prescribed hypertension medication just goes back to their GP for repeat prescriptions constantly, when in fact they should be checked out at least once a year to see if there’s any change in their blood pressure, and whether or not they should have the dosage increased or varied, or if they should have follow-up tests to see if there are any warning signs. Where this situation is allowed to continue for years it can lead to otherwise avoidable problems such as stroke occurring as a result of failure to adequately monitor and review a patient on a long-term medication.

Risk of accidental overdose

Accidental overdose in the context of treating acute situations can also result in serious permanent injuries for patients, including liver damage. Healthcare providers must take great care in specifying the correct dose. Failure to do so may provide the grounds to bring a compensation claim.

Dispensing errors

Errors can also arise at the dispensing stage where a pharmacist misreads a prescription, or for one reason or another, the incorrect medication or dosage is dispensed. Say for example 25 milligrams as opposed to 5 milligrams are dispensed, which can easily happen and can give rise to serious difficulties.

In such cases, you would have to consider what was originally prescribed and what was dispensed whether there was an error made in relation to either or both. This includes the roles of prescribing medical professionals and pharmacists in ensuring the accuracy of medication dispensation.

Considering underlying conditions and medication interactions

The failure to properly consider underlying conditions or other medication that a patient is taking can regularly give rise to problems. It’s vital that medical professionals are aware of potential drug interactions and the patient’s medical history. Failures in this area could form the basis of a negligence claim.

Product liability and medication issues

A connected type of medication error claim is with the medication itself. This involves a shift in focus from medical negligence to medical product liability.

Preventative measures

Additional scenarios may involve cases where a medication causes a recognised symptom or side effect. If these effects are identified or addressed during the treatment process, it may be necessary to either discontinue or change the original medication to ensure the patient’s well-being and health safety. Failure to do so may form the basis of a negligence claim.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the questions often posed to our medical negligence team.

  • What types of injuries can arise as a result of medication errors?

    Medication errors can lead to a range of injuries including allergic reactions, organ damage (such as liver or kidney damage), overdose symptoms, underdose effects (leading to inadequate treatment of conditions), physical and cognitive impairments, and at times, fatal outcomes. These injuries depend on the type of error, such as wrong medication, dosage mistakes, or drug interactions, impacting patient health significantly.

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  • Is it always possible to bring a compensation claim in these circumstances?

    Bringing a compensation claim for medication errors hinges on several factors, including the specifics of the error, evidence of negligence, and the harm inflicted on the patient. Success in such claims often necessitates demonstrating that the pharmacy or healthcare provider did not adhere to the required standard of care, leading directly to the patient's harm. However, the ability to pursue compensation can vary based on individual circumstances.

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  • How can a solicitor assist with medication error claims?

    A solicitor can assist by evaluating the case to determine if negligence occurred, gathering evidence to support the claim, and representing the client in legal proceedings. They provide expert advice on the likelihood of success and navigate the complexities of healthcare law to advocate for the client's rights to compensation. Solicitors also negotiate settlements with healthcare providers or insurers and, if necessary, take the case to court. Their expertise ensures that clients understand their legal options and helps maximise the compensation received for the injuries sustained.

Bringing a medication error negligence claim

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to experience a prescription error which resulted in negative side effects, get in contact with our medical negligence solicitors today to make a start on your claim. Call us on 1800 390 555 and an experienced member of staff will discuss your situation and potential next steps. You can also email on info@mccarthy.ie and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Medical Negligence Team at McCarthy + Co

About McCarthy + Co

With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with medication negligence claims, McCarthy + Co. has expertise in a wide variety of fields relating to medical negligence and personal injury. We are a family-run business, and we pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial and helpful advice.

Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork but we work with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. You can count on us for legal advice, guidance and assistance on any form of personal injury including fracture compensation claims.

Useful Resources

Some links relating to medication errors that you may find useful.

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Our Partners

Directly contact our partners via email about your case.

Flor McCarthy

Flor McCarthy

Email: flor@mccarthy.ie
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Twitter: @flormccarthy LinkedIn: /in/flormccarthy/

wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.

Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

Email: john@mccarthy.ie
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LinkedIn: /in/johnmccarthysolicitor/

is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.

John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.
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