Case study: compensation recovered for patient administered medication known to cause reaction

G v Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Trust

G instructed Clarke Willmott LLP to act for her in a claim for clinical negligence following administration of the drug Cyclizine following admission to hospital in September 2015.

G attended the A&E department of Basildon Hospital following a collapse at home. She had been experiencing severe abdominal pain thought to be related to her pre-existing Diverticulitis.  Upon attendance at hospital she advised the Nurse drugs she had experienced reactions to medication previously including Codeine and Cyclizine.  She was admitted to a ward whilst investigations into the cause of her abdominal pain were carried out.  She was administered oral anti-sickness medication, which she did not have an adverse reaction to.

The day after her admission at 21.35 hours she was administered Cyclizine intravenously. Within minutes G began to experience chest tightness, palpitations, tingling/numbness, headache and shortness of breath.  G stated that she as also hallucinating at the time which she felt was due to being administered Morphine earlier that day.  G reported having a very real fear for her life.

G was given antihistamine and steroids and her symptoms began to ease she continued to have chest pain, difficulty breathing and palpitations. She was placed on a cardiac monitor for the remainder of her stay and following discharge she attended a cardiac follow-up to ensure there was no permanent damage.

As a result of pre-existing medical history (of MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia) G suffered significant physical exhaustion as a result of the episode in hospital which took her around 3 months to recover from during which time she required care and assistance from her son and daughter (to not only look after herself, but her husband who was receiving treatment for cancer at the time of the negligence.)

In addition, G suffered an adjustment disorder and subsequently anxiety specifically related to medical procedures. As a result of her anxiety, G did not trust medication she was prescribed by doctors and was too fearful to undergo carpal tunnel and trapeziectomy surgery and as such struggled with pain in her wrist.  A report was obtained from a Consultant Psychiatrist and CBT sessions were recommended to help G deal with her ongoing anxiety to a point where she would hopefully be able to undergo the procedure.

The Defendant Trust admitted liability and G’s claim was settled for the sum of £10,000.00 to include compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, care and assistance and future treatment costs.