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May 18th 2021

Medical Negligence

Patient hospitalised for 11 days after being given antibiotics in spite of his allergy

Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

Patient hospitalised for 11 days after being given antibiotics in spite of his allergy

A £10,000 compensation settlement has been agreed for an epileptic patient who was hospitalised for 11 days after being given antibiotics he was allergic to.

A £10,000 compensation settlement has been agreed for an epileptic patient who was hospitalised for 11 days after being given antibiotics he was allergic to.

The 50-year-old patient had visited his GP as he was suffering with symptoms of a urinary tract infection and was placed on antibiotics the doctor had not checked were suitable.

The patient immediately began to suffer from severe headaches and neck stiffness, as well as blurred vision and sensitivity to light. He was sick nine times and also suffered from pain in his lower back and both legs.

Such was the extent of the impact on his health, he was hospitalised for 11 days.

Lawyers acting on his behalf from Hudgell Solicitors consulted independent medical experts to assess the impact of the error, who said they believed the allergic reaction caused the man to develop aseptic meningitis and contributed to him suffering more frequent seizures over a six month period.

Duty of care breached by doctor’s failure to check for allergies

It was admitted by legal representatives for the GP that the doctor had breached their duty of care to the patient in failing to take notice of a known medication allergy recorded previously in his patient notes.

Solicitor Laura Larkin, of Hudgell Solicitors, handled the legal claim on behalf of the patient, who became unwell with aseptic meningitis shortly after taking the antibiotics.

Aseptic meningitis is much less serious than bacterial meningitis and is often caused by common seasonal viruses. It is an illness from which most people recover in a couple of weeks, but unfortunately, this patient also suffered from more frequent seizures following his hospital admission.

Although the GP’s legal team denied this had been caused by the antibiotics prescribed, the experts instructed by Hudgell Solicitors thought it was likely that the patient’s seizures had increased due to the stress of the incident and the hospital admission.

“This was a case where a very basic error was made by the GP in that they simply failed to check our client’s medical history and prescribed a drug which was completely unsuitable for him,” said Miss Larkin.

“Our client had a history of viral infections and epilepsy and it was the view of independent medical experts who were consulted as part of the case that the medication error contributed to a six to 12 month exacerbation of seizures.

“Medication and prescription errors can be extremely dangerous to patients and in cases where a patient’s record clearly shows they are allergic to certain treatments, such mistakes are completely unacceptable as they are entirely avoidable. If you are aware of any allergies, it is always better to be safe than sorry and to mention these to your doctor when being prescribed any medication ”

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