Prescription error dangers

There are many safety measures in place to minimise the possibility of prescription errors. When your GP writes out a prescription, the local pharmacy should check that the dosage is safe and will not cause problems due to other known medications that are being taken. Hospitals also have their own checking procedures.

Unfortunately, even with these safety procedures, occasionally mistakes happen for a variety of reasons. Details of drugs which are known to cause allergic reactions or other side effects when taken by the patient should be included in their records. But pressure on medical staff may lead to something being missed in patient notes or medical records. Or if locums are providing out of hours services and do not have access to the full patient history, they might prescribe something which causes an adverse reaction.

Types of prescription errors

A prescription error can be extremely dangerous, particularly in the case of a serious allergic reaction or where a higher dosage is provided. Furthermore, patients should always be warned about any substances (such as alcohol or other medications) which should not be taken with the prescribed drugs. Some of the commonly prescribed drugs which can be dangerous if there are prescription errors include:

●    Anaesthetic drugs
●    Antidepressants
●    Blood pressure or blood-thinning drugs
●    Cancer drugs
●    Heart medicines
●    Hormone treatments
●    Painkillers and sleeping tablets

Some patients will suffer health damage due to drug labelling errors or because prescriptions have been mixed up with other patients. Others may be affected where the wrong drug is prescribed, possibly because it has a similar name to a different drug.

Making prescription error claims

Patients who have suffered due to a prescription error can claim compensation for up to three years from the date of diagnosis of injury (children can claim up to the age of 21). The clinical negligence team at CH Legal has substantial experience handling prescription error claims and can guide you through the process. To find out more, contact Rukhsana Arif or phone 0845 4786 354.