Latest News & Views

Posted on 26th February 2018

Over Twenty Thousand Deaths From Medication Errors Each Year

In a worrying study commissioned by Jeremy Hunt, the Health and Social Care Secretary, found that around 22,000 people each year in the UK die as a result of medication errors. Furthermore, the World Health Organisation has found that one of the leading causes of preventable harm in healthcare systems across the world are drug errors.

The latest figures from the study have shown that over 1,700 people had died in hospital per year as a direct result of being given the wrong medication or the incorrect dose. The figure is then massively increased when you take into account mistakes by GPs and care homes which raise the death toll to over 22,300 deaths per year.

While the problem is recognised globally, it costs the NHS around £1.6 billion a year and as Jeremy Hunt describes; ‘causes appalling levels of harm’. While the number of deaths is shocking, the study also found that there were over 237 million medication errors in England alone every year and 28% of these errors cause severe harm or death.

In one instance of a medication error, a 92-year-old woman had her medical notes mixed up with another patient. Her doctor took her off the medication she needed for a painful muscle condition and gave her eye drops for glaucoma which she did not have. Her care home and GP failed to spot the error despite the woman having irritated eyes and becoming withdrawn and in pain.

What Negligence Claimline say

In around three-quarters of cases, a medication error does not harm patients. However, if it does it can have severe and lasting impacts, it can even be fatal. If you have been affected by a medication mistake that caused harm, then you have the right to seek compensation.

At Negligence Claimline, our experienced solicitors can help to explain the process of making a medication error claim. With our support, we can discuss your options, and you can have all the information you need to decide if you wish to proceed. Our team work on a no win, no fee basis so if you would like to discuss your claim, call the team now on 0330 355 9210 for friendly advice and a free claim assessment.