I think most people assume that when they are administered drugs by a doctor, nurse or other clinician they are being given the correct drug and dosage for their condition. Unfortunately, recent studies show that sadly, this is not always the case.
Health workers made more than 1,300 mistakes in the use of strong analgesia in one year and one in five dosage errors involved morphine, diamorphine and similar opiate drugs. It is reported that at least three deaths and severe harm to two patients has been caused as a result of such errors.
Several official safety warnings have been put in place in recent years regarding the use of opiate drugs however, despite this it seems that serious errors are still being made.
The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) received a total of 4,223 cases involving opiate drugs between November 2004 and June 2008. Of these, 242 caused moderate harm, 4 serious harm and 5 resulted in death. From May 2009 to April 2010 there were 1,329 cases reported of which 67 suffered moderate harm and two severe harm.
The Charity Action against medical accidents claim that Hospitals are not complying with official directives from the NPSA and this is causing injury and death to patients.
At Stephensons we have a dedicated clinical negligence department who are happy to advise anyone who feels they may have suffered injury as a result of being incorrectly administered drugs.
By clinical negligence solicitor, Claire Stockley