£8,000 obtained after GP prescribed fatal combination of medication

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Julie Crossley, an associate chartered legal executive at Ashtons Legal has obtained £8,000 for the family of woman who sadly died after being prescribed a fatal combination of medication.

After suffering a small stroke in 2012, Mrs D was prescribed Clopidogrel, a medicine used to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. She had also been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation – a condition that causes an irregular or sometimes abnormally fast heartbeat.

In 2017, Mrs D was prescribed Rivaroxaban by her GP as a result of her atrial fibrillation. This medicine is used to prevent blood clots forming in the heart.

When a patient is prescribed Rivaroxaban, they would usually stop taking Clopidogrel. There are only a few scenarios in which both medicines would be suitable to take, for example if a patient has a cardiac stent in place, which Mrs D did not.

Mrs D’s GP did not amend the medication on the computer system, and did not thoroughly review the medicine that Mrs D was already taking before she was prescribed Rivaroxaban.

A few months later, Mrs D became unwell very quickly. She was taken to hospital, where she unfortunately passed away. She had suffered internal bleeding as a result of taking both medications at once.

Julie Crossley comments: “This was a very sad case in which this elderly lady died prematurely due to a simple and needless error. Her sudden death caused her family a great deal of unnecessary and avoidable distress.”

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