THE devastated family of a grandmother who died after a pharmacy wrongly gave her medication intended for patients suffering from diabetes say it is ‘disgraceful’ that nobody has been held accountable for her death.
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Grandmother-of-five Dawn Britton, 62, of Bristol, was given tablets which reduce blood sugar levels despite never having suffered from diabetes, and was found in a deeply unconscious state at her home by her son after taking them.
She remained in a coma until she died in Frenchay Hospital the following month, but a year later, despite police investigations, still nobody has been held responsible for her death.
An inquest last week concluded that Ms Britton had died from hypoxia (a lack of oxygen), caused by hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), as a result of a mistakenly being given the supply of gliclazide tablets as a non-diabetic patient.
Ms Britton should have been given her regular medication of prednisolone tablets, a form of steroids which she had long taken to control her Crohn’s Disease and breathing difficulties.
Now, Neil Hudgell Solicitors are supporting the family in legal action against J Hoots Pharmacy. Specialist clinical negligence solicitor Renu Daly says Ms Britton’s death was the result of a failure to ‘exercise diligence’ in the preparation and provision of her medication at the branch in Pool Road, Bristol.
“This was an entirely unacceptable pharmaceutical dispensing error which resulted in the tragic loss of a much loved mother and grandmother,” she said.
“The failure to correctly label and supply Ms Britton with her prescribed medication, instead giving her a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, resulted in her falling into a hypoglycaemic coma from which she never recovered.
“Unsurprisingly, the death of Ms Britton has had a devastating impact on her family. It was completely avoidable and should never have occurred.”
Ms Britton’s daughter Tammy Haskins 40, said: “Still today, I can’t comprehend what happened to our mother, and the devastation caused to our family by her loss. I am gutted and upset, but I am also still angry.”
Tammy’s brother Lee, 41, who lived with his mother and found her unconscious after taking the tablets last October, said: “It’s disgraceful. She would be here today and she has been taken away from us. Even to this day I can’t sleep. It is always on my mind.”