Allergic Reaction to a Medicine Given to a Patient in Hospital

How much compensation would you be likely to get if you had an allergic reaction to medicine given to a patient in hospital?

Any settlement of compensation for an allergic reaction to a medicine given to a patient in hospital would be calculated according to the severity of the reaction, what long-term health implications developed as a result and how the administration of the medicine had affected the quality of life of the patient – physically, psychologically and financially.

However, before any claim for an allergic reaction to a medicine given to a patient in hospital can be made, it has to be established that ‘at the time and in the circumstances’ the administration of the medicine represented a negligent act and that an ‘adverse effect’ occurred which would warrant a claim for the negligent administration of a medicine.

There are a number of occasions in which a defence could be made against a claim for the negligent administration of a medicine, particularly if there was no indication on your previous medical history that the administration of a specific medicine would cause an allergic reaction.

It may also be the case that the medicine was administered even though there was the risk of an allergic reaction, because the condition it was treating was far worse than the ‘adverse effect’ it would create. These are typical scenarios in which a claim for an allergic reaction to medicine given to a patient in hospital is unlikely to be successful and which would need to be investigated before a claim is made.

Therefore, once you have explained to a solicitor the circumstances surrounding why you were in hospital, what medicine was given to you which caused you to have an allergic reaction and what the consequences of the allergic reaction were, the solicitor would write to the hospital to obtain any relevant notes relating to your treatment in hospital and the medicines that were administered to you.

These notes, and your medical history, would be reviewed by an independent medical expert to ascertain whether ‘at the time and in the circumstances’ the allergic reaction was an error which would have been avoided had greater care been taken by the medical staff. The medical expert will also determine where in the sequence of events the decision was made to administer the medicine which caused the allergic reaction and, if it is feasible to make a compensation claim for the negligent administration of a medicine, the expert will provide your solicitor with evidence of negligence to support a ‘Letter of Claim’.

Once the ‘Letter of Claim’ has been sent to the hospital, your solicitor will establish how much compensation you would be likely to receive if you had an allergic reaction to medicine given to a patient in hospital by taking into account the level of pain and suffering you experienced due to the allergic reaction, what the consequences of the reaction meant to your future physical health and if the emotional trauma of such an experience also had any implications to your psychological well-being.

Any expenses you have incurred or loss of income you have experienced can be recovered in a claim for an allergic reaction to medicine given to a patient in hospital, and therefore no two settlements of compensation for an allergic reaction to medicine given in hospital are likely to be the same.

To undergo an individual assessment of the value of your claim, and to ensure that you are eligible to claim compensation for an allergic reaction to medicine given in hospital, it is suggested that you speak directly to an experienced medical negligence solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity.



This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.