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Medical mistake leads to pancreatitis

Miscommunication in a clinical setting can cause patients harm. We recently dealt with a medical mistake compensation claim on behalf of a man who suffered acute pancreatitis as a result of poor communication between the team of medical professionals caring for him.

Our client had been troubled by chronic pulmonary problems as a result of asthma in his youth. To relieve his symptoms bronchodilators and steroids had been prescribed over a long period of time. However his long-term steroid use caused him to develop osteoporosis. His doctor therefore had to take steps to enable steroids to be used at a level that would not exacerbate his osteoporosis and not interfere with other prescription needs for a pre-existing lung infection.

When he was prescribed with an antifungal drug it made a dramatic and positive difference to his health. One drawback of the drug however was that it could cause liver damage. He therefore received regular check-ups to make sure he retained normal liver function.

When he started suffering from abdominal pain he was admitted to hospital. Test revealed he was suffering from pancreatitis. Unknown to our client, his anti-fungal drug was stopped while he was in hospital because of potential damage to his pancreas.

When he was discharged from hospital he was advised to resume normal medication. He therefore resumed taking the anti-fungal drug.

There was no clear communication between patient and medical team regarding the decision to stop the drug.  Nor was his GP aware of the decision to stop the drug while he was in hospital.

About six weeks later he was readmitted to hospital with chronic abdominal pain. This was diagnosed as acute pancreatitis.

His problems stemmed from the fact that he had resumed his medication when it was unsafe to do so and the medical team caring for him in hospital had failed to communicate with his GP.

Fortunately, our client’s pancreas eventually returned to normal but he is now unable to take any form of antifungal medication due to the risk of further pancreatitis.

Medical accident lawyer Oliver Thorne was able to negotiate an out of court compensation settlement package for our client and dealt with the case from start to finish on a no win, no fee basis.

We specialise in medical mistake compensation claims, representing clients nationwide. If you have suffered harm as a result of a medical error then call medical accident lawyers on 0800 975 8091 or send Oliver an email at info@medicalaccidentlawyers.co.uk

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