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Prescription error leads to £80,000 compensation

Medical negligence claim following an allergic reaction to medication

Prescription errors are unfortunately  known to be the cause of a number of health problems in the UK. According to the General Medical Council, up to 5% of prescriptions could contain some kind of mistake.

One serious error that can occur is prescribing a patient medicine which will cause an allergic reaction.

Because most of us trust healthcare providers to have checked our medical records before prescribing medication, we assume they won’t give us a drug known to trigger an allergy.

Medical negligence solicitor Claire Hurrell recently helped a man with a documented penicillin allergy to claim compensation after he suffered from anaphylaxis and other symptoms caused by a negligent amoxicillin prescription.

Following the conclusion of his case, the man has kindly agreed to let us share his story to help those with similar problems understand more about prescription allergies and medical negligence.

"Around 1 in 15 people have an allergic reaction to antibiotics, especially penicillin and cephalosporins."

- NHS Choices website

Penicillin allergy compensation case study

Our client, who had a known allergy to penicillin, visited his GP in October 2013 as he was feeling unwell with a painful chest and  headache. He asked his GP for an examination and was prescribed amoxicillin.

The man took the capsules as prescribed and shortly after he developed anaphylaxis and began to feel tingling in/around his lips. He tried to speak to his spouse, and noticed as he did, he had difficulty speaking.

In addition, he began to experience uncontrollable itchiness, which caused him to scratch his body, leading to severe lesions.

His face and tongue began to swell and he found himself unable to breathe. He had to be admitted to hospital as an emergency for anaphylactic shock.

As a result, our client developed post-traumatic stress disorder and has gone on to develop panic disorder and recurrent depressive disorder of moderate severity.

We sent a letter to the man’s GP explaining his injuries and losses. In response, the doctor made offers to settle the claim without admitting to any mistakes.

The GP subsequently admitted that giving our client the wrong prescription had been an avoidable mistake, but denied that this could have caused him a psychiatric injury.

In response, we showed through evidence from independent psychiatric experts that our client had in fact developed psychiatric injury due to the GP’s negligence.

The defendant then admitted responsibility for this and the case was settled out of court for £80,000, which will help our client get the support he needs.

If you’ve been affected by a negligent prescription error which has damaged your health, our medical negligence solicitors can help. To speak to a specialist lawyer with experience of GP prescription negligence, call us on 0117 325 2929 or complete our online enquiry form.

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