Law Firm Voices Concerns Regarding Medical Misdiagnosis

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Medical Solicitors Mercury Legal Online are calling for increased awareness of the risks in taking incorrect antibiotics after being approached by a number of clients who have been misdiagnosed by their GP.

Medical Negligence

Medical Negligence

Statistics released by the MDU show a staggering increase in medical claims over the last few years and these problems must urgently be addressed.

The personal injury firm, who specialise in prescription negligence claims, have received a number of enquiries from patients who have been over-prescribed antibiotics or given the wrong antibiotics altogether when visiting their GP.

Statistics released by the Medical Defence Union (MDU) show a 59% rise in claims made against GPs for medication errors since 2008. (i) Online publication Pulse reported that the majority of successful claims made were in relation to incorrect or inappropriate drugs being prescribed, issues with long-term administration of medication, incorrect dosage and prescribing to a patient with a known allergy. A total of £5 million in compensation has been paid out by the MDU over this time period together with £400,000 in legal costs. (ii)

Furthermore, a recent Europe-wide study, which was carried out by researchers at Cardiff University and the University of Antwerp in Belgium, surveying over 3,400 people across 13 countries, has highlighted the problem of over-diagnosis, suggesting that some GPs wrongly assume that patients want to be prescribed antibiotics when visiting the doctor, resulting in too many antibiotics being given to patients. (iii)

Experts have warned that over-prescribing antibiotics could become significantly ineffective because the increased amount of antibiotics helps bacteria become progressively more resistant, meaning the drugs are ineffective. (iv)

Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England last year described the growing threat of resistance to antibiotics as a "ticking time bomb". (iii)

Chris Woods, Partner and Head of Medical Negligence at Mercury Legal, said: “We have been approached by a number of predominantly elderly people in recent months who have been misdiagnosed medication such as antibiotics.

“The statistics released by the MDU show a staggering increase in medical claims over the last few years and these problems must urgently be addressed.

“Similarly, when looking at the findings of the European study, it is clear that over-diagnosis is a growing problem not just in the UK but across Europe. If patients become immune to the effects of antibiotics then it is concerning to think what the ultimate impact may be.”


i.    The MDU, 08/10/13
ii.    Pulse 07/10/13
iii.    BBC 23/10/13
iv.    Cardiff University 24/10/13

About Mercury Legal Online

Mercury Legal Online is a trusted group of personal injury solicitors in the UK. Mercury Legal Online is administered and run by Gallium Legal LLP who are regulated by the Ministry of Justice. The firm specialises in medical negligence compensation.

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Charlie Oakham

Charlie Oakham
Mercury Legal Online
since: 05/2013
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