Can I make a claim for being given the wrong medicine dosage in hospital?
We cannot tell you if you are entitled to make a claim for being given the wrong medicine dosage in hospital without knowing the circumstances under which the error was made and the injuries you sustained as result; although it is possible for wrong medicine dosage injury claims to be made against a doctor, nurse or a hospital facility if the medication error caused a personal injury to be sustained.
Many victims of medication errors in hospitals assume a doctor made a serious error of judgement or acted with incompetence, but this is not always the case. A doctor must write a prescription for medication but this is only one link in the chain. The medication must be supplied by a hospital pharmacist and it may be administered by a nurse and errors can occur at any point in this chain.
Mistakes can be made by a pharmacist due to illegible handwriting on prescriptions, abbreviations or misplaced decimal points, all of which can result in an incorrect dosage being supplied by a pharmacist. The administration of intravenous drugs is often performed by nurses, who may be required to mix or dilute medication before it is given to patients. Even if the prescription was correct, dangerous concentrations of medication can be administered by dilution errors which can easily cause serious injuries.
Because there are many possible reasons why the wrong medicine dosage in hospital was administered, it is important that cause of the error is investigated to determine where the fault lies. Once the medical professional – or professionals – responsible for the error is identified and negligence established, a claim for compensation for an injury from the wrong medicine dosage can be filed.
The HSE will attempt to determine how the error was made, although it is important that an independent investigation is conducted by a personal injury solicitor. An experienced medical negligence solicitor will help to establish how the wrong medicine dosage in hospital was given, and whether a claim for wrong medicine dosage compensation can be made.
Wrong medicine dosage injury claims have potential to be highly complicated, especially when an error is not easy to identify or if a doctor writes a prescription which he or she believes is appropriate under the circumstances.
Establishing and proving incompetence of a doctor or a serious error of judgement is something that even a highly experienced medical negligence solicitor would not be able to do without advice from a medical expert.
There may be a standard dosage of medication for any one health condition, but the prescription of an alternative dose may not necessarily constitute negligence. Many factors can influence the decision to administer a higher dosage of medication which may be perfectly acceptable under the circumstances. This is why each case must be independently assessed by a medical expert to determine whether a mistake actually constitutes medical negligence.
While you must speak with a medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible to establish whether you are entitled to make a claim for being given the wrong medicine dosage, it may not be possible to confirm your right to recover wrong medicine dosage compensation until a full investigation of the case has been conducted.