In this guide, we will discuss when claims for medication calculation errors might be justified. This article will look at how medical negligence relating to dose calculations could harm you. We will also look at how you could be owed compensation.
All medical professionals have a duty of care to provide a minimum standard of care to all patients. If a medical professional breaches this duty of care, they could cause harm to patients.
Not all instances of medical errors are breaches in the duty of care. If a doctor has provided care of an acceptable level, but you have still received the wrong dosage of a medication, you would not be eligible to claim compensation.
Keep reading to learn more about medication errors. You can also get in touch with us at any time; our team of expert advisors can answer any further queries you may have. If you would like to start a claim, they could connect you with a solicitor from our panel to help you, provided your case is valid.
To get in touch, you can:
Select A Section
- What Are Medication Calculation Errors?
- Common Medication Calculation Errors
- How Medication Dosage Miscalculations Can Cause Harm
- How To Claim Compensation For Medication Dosage Errors
- Calculating Compensation For Medication Calculation Errors
- Discuss Your Claim With A No Win No Fee Expert
Medication calculation errors are errors where the wrong dose of medication has been calculated for a patient. This could mean the patient takes too much or too little medication.
These kinds of incidents could be caused by a lapse in memory of how much the patient needs or an administrative error if handwriting is illegible. They could also occur if someone misreads the right dosage or even a mistake such as using the wrong measurement system. They could also occur in various medical environments, such as the pharmacy, the GP’s or a hospital.
Depending on the error, there could be varying negative consequences for any affected patients depending on the error. This article will look further at how you could be affected if you are subject to a medication calculation error and the circumstances in which you could claim.
How Common Are Medication Calculation Errors?
According to a 2012 study into drug dose calculations, medication incidents accounted for 11% of all patient incidents reported to the National Reporting and Learning System in England and Wales between June 2010 and June 2011. There were 141,387 incidents reported overall.
90% of these incidents reportedly caused no harm to the patient. However, 253 caused severe harm, and 50 medication error incidents caused accidental death.
This study concluded that medication errors are frequently caused by the wrong dose, omitted or delayed medication or the administration of the wrong medication. This study also revealed that the most frequently cited wrong dosage error stemmed from an error in calculation.
These kinds of errors can occur because of a number of different factors. Some examples include:
- A lack of understanding of the measurement units for medication, e.g. nanogram and microgram
- Using the wrong equipment to administer medication
- Slips in calculating that lead to the wrong rate or dose of medicine being administered
For example, a nurse could be unaware of the meaning of different kinds of units of measurement in medication. In that case, they could measure the medication in millilitres instead of nanolitres, causing the wrong dosage to be calculated and administered to the patient.
To find out more about claiming for common medication calculation errors caused by negligence, get in touch with our expert team today.
If there is a medication calculation error and you take the wrong dosage of medication, it could have various negative consequences.
If you are given a higher dosage of medication than you should be, this could potentially lead to dependency or addiction issues that cause psychological damage. It could also cause serious side effects that would not normally occur if the medication was given in the right dosage. In severe cases, you could potentially accidentally overdose, which could lead to prolonged hospitalisation or disability. In some cases, it could be fatal.
A medical professional could also potentially give you less medication than your condition requires. This could potentially not affect your illness or injury at all, causing it to worsen and you to experience unnecessary suffering. If this occurred as a result of negligent medical care, you could be owed compensation.
Get in touch today to find out more about how you could claim for medication calculation errors caused by negligence.
This section looks at how the medical negligence claims process could work. If you’ve been harmed in some way by a miscalculation of medication, we first recommend that you seek medical help. If you are concerned about returning to the medical organisation where you came to harm, you could seek medical advice elsewhere. You could potentially seek the advice of your GP or ring 111 for non-emergency advice.
Once you’ve sought medical help, you may want to consider gathering evidence to support your claim. You don’t need a solicitor to help you do so, but they will have the requisite knowledge to understand what evidence types will be best for your specific case. Some examples of evidence that could support your claim include:
- Copies of any relevant correspondence
- Medical records
- Prescription slips
- Photographs, if relevant
It is also possible to make a formal complaint to the NHS if the organisation that harmed you was part of the NHS. You generally have 12 months to do so, and you could receive a formal apology for the suffering you experienced. You can still start a medical negligence claim if you make a complaint to the NHS.
As we’ve mentioned, legal representation isn’t required for claims for medication calculation errors, but we recommend that you do. Hiring a solicitor to help you with your claim could give your case a better chance of success. The solicitors on our panel are highly trained and have years of experience to offer your claim.
Generally, you must start a claim within 3 years of the incident. You could also start a claim within 3 years from the date you realised the medication calculation error had affected you. The Limitation Act 1980 outlines time limitations for claims. However, there are some exceptions to this 3-year rule, for example, if the injured party is a child.
For more details on the exceptions that can apply to the time limits, speak with a member of our team today. You could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel, provided you have a valid claim.
This section includes a table of bracketed compensation amounts that could potentially be awarded for a variety of injuries. These figures are from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG); legal professionals use this document to help assess general damages in claims.
General damages compensate you for any suffering caused by medical negligence. You should know that in a medical negligence claim, you can only claim general damages compensation for the suffering the negligence caused and not your initial injury or illness.
The figures in the JCG are not a guarantee for your claim, so you will need to attend an independent medical appointment. A medical professional will evaluate the suffering you have experienced to make a more accurate estimation of general damages.
Injury Severity Amount Notes
Sight (C) (ii) £60,010 to £99,440 The total loss of sight in one eye, paired with reduced vision in the remaining eye. There may also be possible related issues such as double vision.
Bladder (A) Up to £172,860 Double incontinence of the bowel and bladder, with related medical complications.
Bowel (B) Up to £140,870 The total loss of natural function with dependence on a colostomy.
Psychiatric Moderately Severe £17,900 to £51,460 Significant issues with relationships, education and work but the prognosis may be more optimistic than in more severe cases.
Lung Disease (A) £94,470 to £127,530 For a young person with a serious disability where there is a probability of the condition worsening progressively until a premature death.
Chest (C) £29,380 to £51,460 Damage to the chest and lung (s) that cause continuing disability.
Deafness (C) £29,380 to £42,730 Total loss of hearing in one ear. There could be related issues such as tinnitus, headaches and dizziness.
Brain Less Severe £14,380 to £40,410 Claimant will have made a good amount of recovery and will be able to return to work and take part in a normal social life. Not all functionality will be full restored and there may be issues with memory, mood, and concentration.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderately Severe £21,730 to £56,180 There will be a better prognosis for recovery, with the assistance of professional help. However, the symptoms may continue to be disabling for the foreseeable future.
Spleen (A) £19,510 to £24,680 Where the spleen is lost and there is continuing risk of infection.
It’s possible that a medication calculation error could lead to you experiencing financial loss of some kind. If this is the case, you could potentially claim special damages as well.
For example, if a medication calculation error has negatively impacted you, you may need to pay out of pocket for medical treatments that are not free under the NHS. You could claim these costs back as part of special damages.
Other examples of what you could claim for include:
- Loss of earnings (including future earnings)
- Travel expenses
- The cost of adaptions to the home, if applicable
You can also claim special damages for the financial loss you may experience going forward. You could evidence this using payslips, receipts, invoices or bank statements.
For more information on how much your claim could be worth, speak with one of our advisors today. They could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel with experience in claims for medication calculation errors.
You don’t need legal representation to start a claim; however, it could potentially mean your case is stronger, or you receive more compensation. There are fees to consider when thinking about hiring a solicitor.
The solicitors on our panel offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that:
- Your solicitor only requires payment if your claim is successful
- The solicitor takes payment in the form of a success fee, which is legally capped
- You don’t have to pay any ongoing or upfront payments
If this sounds appealing to you, you can get in touch with us at any time. Our team of advisors are available 24/7 to offer free legal guidance.
If they think your claim has a good chance of success, they could potentially connect you with a specialised medical negligence solicitor from our panel.
Medical Negligence Claim Resources
Thank you for reading our guide about medication calculation errors. We hope you found it helpful. For further relevant resources, please see below.
Common Prescription Error Examples – This is a guide on common prescription error issues and how you could claim compensation.
How Much Money Can You Get for Medical Negligence? – This article explains how much compensation you could receive in a medical negligence case.
Sepsis Claims – Learn how to claim for sepsis caused by medical negligence.
NHS Resolution Statistics – The most recent statistics from NHS Resolution, the legal branch of the NHS.
Information on Medical Error Claims in the NHS – This document looks at the number of medical error claims made against the NHS.
Addiction – An NHS guide to addiction and the support options available to you.
Thank you for reading our guide about medication calculation errors.
Guide by AO