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Six-figure settlement for client whose breathing is badly affected after being prescribed antibiotics for over two years

Client was not warned about potential lung problems when she was prescribed Nitrofurantoin

Photos of chest xray: istock

14 August 2012

Clinical negligence specialists Ellen Parry and Henry Dyson have negotiated a six-figure award for an 82-year old lady following the negligent management of the antibiotic, Nitrofurantoin. Mrs B was prescribed the antibiotic by the Whittington Hospital without being told that there was any risk of lung toxicity. She was not told, nor was her GP, that her lung function should be monitored, or that she should stop taking the drug if she developed any respiratory symptoms.

Mrs B began to suffer from breathlessness and associated immobility but did not realise that this was due to the antibiotic, which continued to be prescribed without review. Eventually, due to the severity of her symptoms, she was referred to hospital for chest x-rays.  A diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis was made, secondary to the Nitrofurantoin. Mrs B had to take steroids which led to weight gain and diabetes.  Her enjoyment of day to day life and her independence have been greatly reduced by her lung injury.  She must rely on others to help her get out and about, and she is only able to walk very short distances before stopping for breathlessness.

The Trust admitted liability and a settlement figure was reached which allowed for alterations to Mrs B’s home to ease the difficulties caused by her injury. 

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Clinical negligence

Who worked on this case

Henry Dyson

Ellen Parry