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Damages awarded due to inappropriately prescribed Gentamicin | Our Client’s Story

Posted on 5th May 2020
Catherine Henry Lawyers
Catherine Henry Lawyers

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inappropriately prescribed Gentamicin

Catherine Henry Lawyers’ health law team has secured sizeable damages for our client after he was inappropriately prescribed Gentamicin whilst in hospital.

What is Gentamicin?

Gentamicin is a powerful antibiotic for fighting infection that belongs to a class of drugs called aminoglycosides. Its devastating side effects are well known to medical professionals, which include being toxic to the ear and destructive to the kidneys.

It is also well known that risk factors such as advanced age, dehydration, and use of diuretics – all factors exhibited by our client – make the chances of adverse reaction more likely and the antibiotic unsuitable.

Our client shouldn’t have been given Gentamicin and was given too much

Whilst in hospital for a hip replacement our client had a routine test which indicated he had a urinary tract infection.

Medical staff administered Gentamicin three times over three days despite our client’s advanced age, the fact that he was taking of diuretics, was dehydrated and experienced hearing loss; all risk factors that make Gentamicin inappropriate.

The hospital had a urine sample which showed the presence of E-coli bacteria which is sensitive to a number of antibiotics, including Gentamicin.

Shortly after receiving the drug our client was diagnosed with bilateral vestibular failure, a known and dire side effect. Bilateral vestibular failure results in cognitive deficits such as memory loss, difficulty finding balance, and even an inability to carry objects. Our client fractured his rib after a fall.

Our case for compensation

Prior to undergoing hip replacement surgery at a local hospital, our client enjoyed a happy and independent life with his wife at a retirement community. He took pleasure in a healthy social life, was fully independent and even performed professionally at regular concerts.

We argued that, because of the inappropriate and excessive use of Gentamicin, our client experiences induced anxiety, depression, and a host of other ailments which are detrimental to his quality of life. He has lost his confidence and self-sufficiency, including his capacity to drive.

His hip operation was a success, so despite his age, he should have expected to continue to lead his same or better lifestyle with his new hip. Instead he has had to live with unexpected disabilities, get a scooter and pay for modest home modifications.

We established that the hospital breached its duty of care by:

  • failing to advise our client of the risks involved with Gentamicin
  • disregarding his personal circumstances which were risk factors that meant Gentamicin was inappropriate
  • inappropriately prescribed Gentamicin in an excessive dosage.

Testing should have occurred no more than 14 hours after the last dose but it wasn’t done for 18 hours.

We argued that many medical professionals have concluded that there is no safe dose of Gentamicin, and that there are safer, albeit more expensive antibiotics available.

Let us fight for you or your loved one

If you or a loved one have experienced the negative impacts of Gentamicin or poor medical treatment at the hands of a medical practitioner, please get in touch with one of our caring, expert, health lawyers about the options available to you.

Taking legal action can also help change health care practices and hold health care professionals to account so other people do not to have experience what you went through.


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