GP prescription error leads to patient’s seizures and lengthy stay in hospital

Posted: 11/09/2015


Penningtons Manches’ clinical negligence team has settled a claim on behalf of a woman from Pulborough, West Sussex, against her GP for overprescribing medication which led to her admission to hospital and subsequent seizures. 

In 2014 she was told that she was suffering from a vitamin D deficiency for which she should be prescribed medication by her GP. Her consultant physician advised the GP to prescribe vitamin D 800 units per day in the hope that this would bring her range back to normal. Instead, the GP prescribed 50,000 unit capsules: two to be taken each day. This was 125 times more than the recommended dosage. The woman was unaware of the error and took the medication as prescribed to her. 

She began experiencing symptoms of hypercalcaemia (high blood calcium levels), for which she was eventually admitted to hospital to receive treatment. During her admission, she suffered two seizures which were resolved with the administration of diazepam. She remained in hospital for 19 days and, after she was discharged, her biochemical levels took a further six months to normalise. 

It was not until she visited her physician some time later that the overprescription was picked up as part of his investigations into her condition and seizures. 

A claim was made and resolved at an early stage following an offer of settlement by the defendant. 

Penningtons Manches associate Rebecca Morgan, who acted for the claimant, commented: “This was a negligent and entirely avoidable mistake with distressing consequences. Our client has found the whole ordeal very upsetting and only hopes the same mistake will not be made again in the future.”


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