Pensioner claims £5,500 after being prescribed 10 times intended dose of medication

7th February 2019

A 69 year old male has claimed £5,500 after his GP incorrectly prescribed him 10 times the intended dose of medication.

The negligent mistake meant that, Michael Denney, a retired office worker from Sheffield, was rushed to hospital with confusion and breathing difficulties.

Michael was treated in Birley Health Centre in Sheffield, for a significant overdose after his GP accidentally prescribed 10 times the amount of Zomorph he was previously taking every 12 hours.

Senior Litigation Executive, Michael Carson of Fletchers Solicitors believes Michael’s case demonstrates that simple errors can have potentially catastrophic consequences.

He said: “Whilst the GP error may seem a slight one, in that an extra digit was accidentally typed in to the prescription, the failure for this to be flagged up at any point in the process of providing Mr Denney with his prescription meant that he was handed a potentially lethal dosage.”

On 27th October 2017, Michael visited his GP, Elizabeth Woods, after describing symptoms of over-tiredness.

GP Elizabeth Woods concluded that the issue may have been related to Michael’s medication and suggested reducing his daily intake of Zomorph from 30mg every 12 hours, to 20mg every 12 hours. 

What was accidentally recorded by the GP and then prescribed was 200mg of Zomorph every 12 hours – 10 times the intended dose.

After collecting his prescription, Michael started on his new plan at the end of October 2017 and within two days he was rushed to hospital.

The overdose was quickly noted but Michael had to be catheterised and had two prostate exams before being discharged after two nights.

It was noted that the blister pack of Zomorph was missing four tablets, meaning that Michael had likely taken some 800mg of morphine in 48 hours, a dosage that could so easily have proved fatal were it not for the prompt actions of his wife in calling an ambulance.

Around 1st November, Michael suffered with confusion and abdominal pain and through the day his symptoms worsened to the point he showed signs of respiratory distress.

Speaking after the settlement, Michael said: “I was told I was lucky to survive the overdose. I’m really happy with the outcome and of the case and I hope it helps to ensure this never happens to anybody else ever again.”

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