Prescription error claims
Learn more about making a compensation claim if you suffer an injury or a worsening condition due to a prescription error. For more information about personal injury claims, see our full Resource Library
Nearly a third of adults take five or more medications, usually daily. Hundreds of thousands of prescriptions are correctly written and dispensed every day, but statistics show that each year there are over 40,000 prescription or medication errors in the NHS.
Fortunately, most of these mistakes cause minimal harm for short periods, but in some cases the mistake can result in an adverse drug effect (ADE) and cause serious illness, injury or death.
Medication errors can be described as: any preventable event that may cause or lead to patient harm or inappropriate medication use, while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.
In short, a failure in the treatment process that leads to, or has the potential to lead to, harm to the patient.
There are many types of medication error, including:
- Prescribing errors
- Prescription errors
- Dispensing errors
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Errors are usually made by medical professionals completing prescriptions or charts incorrectly, or the wrong drugs being dispensed by pharmacies.
The error can also be a result of a misdiagnosis, inadequate knowledge or competence or poor communication. Errors are also regularly made with ambulance patients due to the need for a fast response.
A prescribing error is where a mistake is made in determining the correct course of action to take related to an illness and a prescription error is where the physical act of writing the prescription includes a mistake.
Dispensing errors can be described as: a discrepancy between a prescription and the medicine that the pharmacy delivers to the patient or distributes on the basis of the prescription, including dispensing medicine with inferior pharmaceutical or informational quality.
These errors are becoming more and more common, affecting some of the most vulnerable patients. Mistakes are sometimes made when prescribing or dispensing medication to children, where their dosage is not correctly calculated based on their weight (and an adult dosage is prescribed instead) and mistakes are on the rise in nursing and care homes.
Prescribing errors and prescription errors are usually categorized under the same umbrella as “prescribing errors” and are the most common type of error over all – accounting for approximately 70% of all errors.
With regards to medication errors which can result in death – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carried out a study that evaluated reports of fatal medication errors from 1993 to 1998 and found that the most common error involving medications was related to administration of an improper dose of medicine, accounting for 41% of fatal medication errors.
Common Prescription Drug Mistakes
- Improper dose/strength of a drug, which can lead to overdose
- Incorrect labelling, meaning the wrong patient can receive the wrong drug
- Human error
- Computer error
- Drugs administered incorrectly – intravenously/intramuscularly
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or condition as a result of what you believe to be the negligence of a medical professional, then fill in our quick claim form to start your No Win No Fee claim for compensation and we will be in touch to discuss your claim in more detail.
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