Personal Injury Compensation

Incorrect Prescription Compensation

In order to make a successful claim for incorrect prescription compensation, it has to be shown not only that you were wrongly prescribed a medicine but that you suffered an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition as a result due to the negligence of a doctor or pharmacist. Even then, it could be claimed that you contributed to your injuries by taking medicine which had been incorrectly prescribed, and to ensure that you receive your full entitlement to incorrect prescription compensation you are invited to call our freephone Legal Advice Centre and speak directly to an experienced Irish solicitor about the circumstances of the prescription error.

Claim for Negligent Prescription of Steroids Allowed to Go Ahead

August 7th, 2014. By Compensation News.

A High Court judge has given his permission for a claim for the negligent prescription of steroids to go ahead after denying an application to dismiss the case.

Lorna Savage (43) from Cobh in County Cork was given permission to proceed with her claim for the negligent prescription of steroids after an application to dismiss her claim by the steroids manufacturer – Pfizer – was denied by Mr Justice George Birmingham at the High Court.

Lorna had initially been prescribed the steroid Deltacortril by her GP when she was twenty-seven years old in order to treat the skin disorder vasculitis – a condition in which damaged blood vessels group together and form an irritable and unsightly rash.

After taking Deltacortril for several years, Lorna developed the condition Avascular Necrosis – a known but uncommon adverse reaction to the steroid – a disorder which prevents blood from reaching specific bones, so that the bone tissue dies and the bone eventually crumbles away.

By the time Lorna was thirty-one years old, she had one hip and both knees replaced and her condition had worsened to such a degree that she was confined to a wheelchair and was taking morphine to manage her pain.

Lorna made a compensation claim for the negligent prescription of steroids against her GP – Dr. Michael Madigan – and her consultant doctor at Cork University Hospital – Dr. M Molloy – who continued to prescribe Deltacortril after Dr. Madigan´s death in 1999.

In her claim against the GP, Lorna alleged that Dr. Madigan had not sufficiently investigated her vasculitis disorder and had negligently prescribed Deltacortril tablets when he was (or should have been) knowledgeable of the potential risks of taking the steroids.

Lorna´s claim for the negligent prescription of steroids alleged that Dr. Molloy had continued to prescribe the steroids after Dr. Madigan´s death and that he had failed to identify the symptoms of Avascular Necrosis despite her deteriorating condition.

Lorna also included the Pfizer in her compensation claim – alleging that manufacturer of the steroid  had neglected to warn people taking Deltacortril that continued use of the steroids could result in Avascular Necrosis. Lorna also claimed that neither her doctors nor Pfizer gave any warnings against drinking alcohol while taking the tablets.

Pfizer, Dr. Madigan´s estate, and the HSE (on behalf of the Cork University Hospital and Dr. Molloy) each denied negligence. Pfizer applied to have Lorna´s claim for the negligent prescription of steroids dismissed on the grounds that there had been an “inexcusable delay” in bringing the case to court.

However, after hearing arguments from Lorna´s solicitors and the defendants, Mr Justice George Birmingham decided that the delay was “excusable” because the delay in bringing the case to court had been due by Lorna having to undergo more operations in the recent past.

The extended recovery period from the operations, Judge Birmingham said, had prevented Lorna from instructing her solicitors and was a valid explanation for the delay. The judge denied Pfizer´s application to dismiss the case – and ordered that Lorna´s claim for the negligent prescription of steroids be listed for a hearing in the High Court later in 2014.

Injury Compensation Claims for Missed Diagnoses top GP Malpractice Cases

August 23rd, 2013. By Compensation News.

A review prepared for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) by the Centre for Primary Care Research in Dublin has found that injury compensation claims for missed diagnoses are the leading reason for GP malpractice cases.

The review – “The Epidemiology of Malpractice Claims in Primary Care: A Systematic Review” published recently in the British Medical Journal – was compiled with the objective of establishing which areas of primary care in Ireland should be given specific attention when developing future educational strategies and risk management systems for front-line healthcare practitioners.

It found that the most common reason for GP malpractice cases were the missed or delayed diagnosis of cancer – specifically lung cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer – medication errors (in both administration and prescription) and, in children´s injury compensation claims for missed diagnoses, the failure to correctly diagnose meningitis and appendicitis.

The lead researcher for the report – Dr Emma Wallace – is herself a GP, and she acknowledged that reviewing GP malpractice cases may not be the preferred methodology to establish where the most attention was required; however, she did accept that injury compensation claims for missed diagnoses were creating an environment where GPs and front-line healthcare practitioners were acting more defensively.

The review found that more patients are being referred to consultants than before – potentially delaying a correct diagnosis and placing pressure on an under-resourced Irish health service – because of the risk of litigation should a mistake be made. Medical practitioners against whom injury compensation claims for missed diagnoses are made often experience increased stress levels, Dr Wallace said, reducing their effectiveness to diagnose correctly and placing more patients at risk.

It is hoped that “The Epidemiology of Malpractice Claims in Primary Care: A Systematic Review” provides an insight into the nature of adverse events in hospital outpatients´ departments and GPs surgeries, and the reasons for them occurring. This would then reduce the number of injury compensation claims for missed diagnoses in Ireland and ultimately improve the standard of primary healthcare provided.

Wrong Prescription Leads to Woman’s Death

November 8th, 2012. By Compensation News.

An inquest has told how a Dublin woman died two days after being given the wrong prescription by one of the city´s pharmacies.

Margaret Swaine (64) passed away due to a heart attack in July 2010 after being mistakenly dispensed Tegretol – an anti-convulsant and mood stabilising drug – instead of Trentol, a drug which had been prescribed for Margaret to assist the flow of blood through her body due to a pre-existing heart condition.

The Coroners Court was told Dr Brian Farrell testify that Margaret´s death was due to her heart condition, but the effects of the Tegretol had constituted an “additional stressor”. His proof was supported by University College Dublin´s Professor Patrick Murray, who confirmed that the presence of Tegretol had been a contributing factor to Margaret´s heart attack and said “It is very unlikely that she would have passed away on that given day had she not taken the Tegretol.”

The court was also told the circumstances surrounding how Margaret was dispensed the wrong medicine. Margaret´s friend – Ann Murphy – related how Margaret had come home from the Janet Dillon Pharmacy in Stoneybatter with the tablets which Ann believed were for the treatment of depression. Margaret took the Tegretol tablets three times over the course of the day and became groggy, disorientated and unstable on her feet.

Ann visited the pharmacy and showed the box of tablets to pharmacist Janet Dillon, who was alarmed that the pharmacy had dispensed the wrong medicine and who exchanged the Tegretol for the correct medicine. However, Margaret´s symptoms persisted and the following morning she was discovered sitting on the side of her bed having difficulty breathing. White foam was coming from her mouth and her pulse had slowed. An ambulance was called but attempts to resuscitate Margaret at the Mater Hospital failed.

In court, Janet Dillon stated that a “picking error” by a trainee assistant had been the reason why the wrong medicine was dispensed, but that she checked the medicine before it was dispensed to Margaret and her failure to spot the mistake was attributable to human error. The DPP has decided not to prosecute the pharmacy, but Margaret´s family may be entitled to claim compensation for being dispensed the wrong medicine.

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