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Grandmother dies after receiving wrong prescription

Posted on October 31st 2014

A recent report in the Telegraph sets out how an inquest heard of a grandmother’s death following a prescription error by staff at a Pharmacy in Bristol. She was prescribed Prednisolone, which is a drug used to control Crohn’s Disease, but was instead dispensed a anti-diabetic drug called Gliclazide in error.

grandmother had a regular prescription for pills to treat Crohn’s disease but failed to notice the difference between her usual pills and the ones she had been given in error, as they were the same size and colour. She continued taking them for several weeks and eventually slipped into a coma due to the tablets lowering her blood sugar level. Sadly, she died a month later in Hospital.

Within the report her son Lee, 41, was quoted as saying:

“We were told it was not in the public interest to prosecute, but how can people be allowed to get away with killing our mother? I work as a gas meter reader, I am expected to spot any problems at customers’ houses. If I checked a meter and then it blew up the next day, I’d be held accountable. Yet here, our mum has been killed, and it’s simply swept under the carpet. It’s disgraceful.”

The inquest was heard at Flax Bourton Coroners Court near Bristol and the Pharmacist in question apologised to the family from the witness box, but insisted she had followed all the correct procedures. The Coroner, was quoted as follows:

“She died of hypoxic brain injury as a result of profound hypoglycaemia caused by her having taken Gliclazide tablets dispensed for her in error by a pharmacist.”

Within the report her daughter, Tammy was quoted as saying:

“My mum has lost her life because somebody simply failed to check the medication they were giving out was correct.” The report quotes the Pharmacy spokesperson as saying: “A dispensing error occurred at our Pool Road Pharmacy in Bristol on 2nd August 2013. Everyone at Jhoots is very saddened by this tragic event. We wish to say how sorry we are for what has happened”.

We all rely on and trust medical professionals such as doctors, nurses/midwives, dentists and pharmacists, to provide us with the best treatment and care as part of our day to day lives. Unfortunately, mistakes do occur and the consequences of which can be life changing and in some circumstances fatal.

Here at Oliver & Co our medical negligence solicitors have experience in dealing with cases that involves pharmaceutical errors. We have successfully obtained compensation for many Client’s relating to dispensing errors and understand both the physical and emotional strain this can have on a patient’s life.

How we can help

Please contact us for advice if you feel you have suffered any form of negligent medical/dental treatment. We have a specialist team of solicitors who are always happy to help. At Oliver & Co, we are unique in that the head of our Clinical Negligence department, Linda Schermer, is a qualified doctor as well as a qualified solicitor. We therefore benefit from in-house medical knowledge and are able to get to grips with your claim and locate any areas of negligent care quickly.

Our solicitors deal with a wide variety of medical claims including missed/delayed diagnosis claims, orthopaedic injuries, drug dispensing errors and claims against GPs. Our Liz Fry has extensive experience with claims against dentists, our Kerry Goulden has had great success in pursuing claims involving poor nursing care and our Jyoati Chada provides attentive care to our clients who are claiming on behalf of loved ones that have died.

With the assistance of our paralegal Emma Woodrow as well as our team secretaries Becky Shields and Hannah Hughes, we tend to work on a team basis and pool our legal and medical knowledge to offer the best service to our clients.

If you would like advice on whether you have a potential clinical negligence claim or assistance with drafting a letter of complaint, please contact us on the number below. Please note that there are legal time limits in place for starting a claim for compensation, and our specialist clinical negligence solicitors will be able to advise you specifically on the facts of your own case.

Direct Dial Clinical Negligence Department: 01244 354688

Call and speak to a lawyer on 01244 312306