Judge James O’Donoghue has approved a settlement offer of €20,000 after a chemist in Ballyfermot dispensed an incorrect dose of a sedative to a 15-month-old child.
Maisy Jane Murphy was prescribed doses of 2.5 mg of Diazepam by a doctor at Crumlin Children’s Hospital following a surgical procedure, however, the pharmacist labeled the bottle given to the Maisy’s parents 2.6 mls twice daily. One milligram is equal to approximately 0.001 of a millilitre in weight to liquid comparison.
Maisy’s parents were unaware of this mistake and had been complying with the instructions on the bottle. This resulted not only in an overdosing of the child but also in severe withdrawal symptoms when the medication was ceased.
The child was readmitted to Crumlin Hospital, where she had undergone her surgery, with severe irritability when her parent’s stopped administering Diazepam. Maisy had to be placed on weaning doses of the drug for a period of almost two months to fully treat the withdrawal symptoms.
Mr and Mrs Murphy found the period extremely difficult and confusing, unaware of the cause of their daughter’s unusual behaviour. Mrs Murphy in particular suffered a serious psychological reaction.
John Nolan, the barrister appearing on behalf of the claimants, told Judge O’Donoghue that as a matter of certainty liability would be established. The judge commented that the counsel had negotiated a very good settlement while approving the €20,000 offer.