Given the Wrong Pills in Hospital

Is it possible to make a claim for being given the wrong pills in hospital?

If you were given the wrong pills in hospital due to a mistake made by a doctor, pharmacist or nurse it may be possible to claim compensation provided your health deteriorated as a result of taking the wrong medication. A claim cannot be made for a mistake made by a medical professional if no ill health has been suffered, irrespective of whether the error constitutes medical negligence.

Doctors would not intentionally administer a harmful or incorrect dose of medication to a patient, but mistakes can easily be made with the prescription of drugs. Administrative errors and incompetence by nurses and pharmacists can also result in a patient being given someone else’s medication. When mistakes are made they are usually quickly identified and the patient who was given the wrong pills in hospital suffers no ill health as a result.

However, being provided with the wrong pills has potential to cause serious ill health and in some cases even life threatening health problems. If you or a loved one has suffered serious ill health as a result of being given someone else’s medication or if incorrect drugs have been provided to treat a medical condition, it should be possible for a claim for a medication error to be made.

It is important that legal advice is sought promptly about making a personal injury claim against the hospital or the individual responsible. A claim for compensation for a medication error can take some time to prepare as the case must be thoroughly investigated before a claim can be filed, and if you allow a solicitor to investigate your claim it will ensure that if a claim is possible, you will receive compensation in the shortest possible time frame.

Although being supplied with incorrect drugs certainly constitutes negligence and a failure in a duty of care, it is important to find out who is responsible for the error so that the correct respondent can be identified. The error could have resulted from a mistake made by a hospital pharmacist when supplying the pills, by a nurse who confused two patient’s medication or even a pharmaceutical company for mislabelling products.

Since compensation for a medication error is not paid by an individual but an insurance company, until the negligent third party is identified it will not be possible to establish the insurance policy against which the claim will be made. Doctors and pharmacists are not necessarily covered by the hospital’s insurance policy, and may own a personal policy against which compensation will need to be claimed.

When the investigation has been completed, your solicitor will accurately calculate the level of compensation that can be recovered. Compensation amounts in a claim for a medication error in hospital will be based on the severity of the reaction to the pills, the pain and suffering caused any permanent health damage sustained as a result of the error.
Once an appropriate figure has been calculated and documentation has been collected to support the claim, negotiations can commence with the insurance company that provided the insurance policy against which the claim is made.