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Case Study

£2.6 million for child given huge overdose of anti-convulsant drug

We settled a general medicine claim for £2.6 million for Barry who was given 35 times the amount of drug that he required and suffers from cerebral palsy and other conditions as a result.

When he was 11 days old, Barry became ill and was readmitted to hospital for observation. 

The following day he began convulsing (having a fit) and was prescribed an anti-convulsant drug (phenytoin) to control this. Later that day, he was said to be improving. 

Early the following morning, a doctor from another unit made up a vial containing 175 mg of phenytoin. The correct dose was 5 mg of phenytoin.

Barry was given 35 times the amount of the drug that he was prescribed and as a result of the overdose, Barry’s condition deteriorated rapidly. He suffered extremely low blood pressure which resulted in a lack of oxygen to his brain.

The lack of oxygen caused Barry serious injuries and he now suffers from developmental delay, abnormal mode of control, impairment of vision and cerebral palsy.

We were instructed to consider a potential claim for medical negligence. 

The Health Authority initially denied that it was negligent to have given the overdose. Subsequently, they admitted the negligence but denied that the overdose caused Barry’s injuries. 

The action was fixed for trial and it was only with extreme reluctance that the Health Authority finally submitted to judgment.

The action was settled with the approval of the court and Barry was awarded £2.6 million. The compensation will ensure that Barry receives the best treatment, care and education possible for his conditions.

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