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Medical Negligence
Gentamicin

Gentamicin

Although not widely used anymore, there are occasions in which medical professionals decide a patient would benefit from Gentamicin treatment, an antibiotic that stops the growth of bacterial infections. However, it must be administered with caution, as it is a powerful drug that can potentially cause a number of problems.

What is Gentamicin?

Gentamicin is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. It is a particularly strong type of medication, and thus is often used to treat bacteria that have become resistant to other forms of antibiotic, such as MRSA and C Diff. Additionally it may be used to treat infections of the lung, skin, bone, stomach, blood and urinary tract.

Gentamicin, which is administered via an injection into a vein or muscle, works by stopping the growth of bacteria. This can, however, lead to serious side-effects. That is why it is vital for the drug to be prescribed with the utmost care, with factors such as age, weight and kidney function all needing to be taken into account. Otherwise, a dose that is too high, or given too often, will cause a patient to suffer complications.

Prescribing Gentamicin

As a powerful antibiotic with potentially dangerous side-effects, Gentamicin is rarely prescribed anymore. Indeed, medical professionals now have other, more reliable alternatives to choose from. Even so, there are occasions in which it is deemed an appropriate form of treatment.

In such cases, a patient must be assessed to see whether or not they are at an increased risk of developing Gentamicin-related problems. Particular consideration needs to be given to those who are older, have kidney disease or are dehydrated. Other variables such as weight and heath should also be taken into account before a suitable dosage is calculated. Once administered, a patient should continue to be closely monitored via the use of lab tests, thereby ensuring the treatment is not having a detrimental effect.

Side-Effects of Gentamicin

If too much Gentamicin is prescribed, a patient is likely to experience a condition known as 'Gentamicin toxicity'. This essentially means the patient has been poisoned by the antibiotic, and can lead to side-effects such as:-

  • Kidney damage;
  • Nerve damage;
  • Ototoxicity (damage to the ear, such as hearing loss);
  • Balance problems;
  • Problems with memory and concentration;
  • Oscillopsia (bouncing vision).

Prescribing Gentamicin Medical Negligence

The consequences of Gentamicin toxicity are extremely serious, and can leave a patient with long-term damage. Thus when problems arise during Gentamicin treatment, a patient will want to know if mistakes made by medical professionals are to blame. Complications caused by medical negligence may arise due to:-

  • Prescribing errors;
  • Administering the drug at the wrong time;
  • Not taking a patient's renal impairment into consideration;
  • Poor blood level monitoring.

If you have suffered Gentamicin-related problems as a result of medical negligence, you need to seek legal advice as soon as possible. A medical negligence solicitor will be able to discuss the nature of your treatment with you, helping you to decide whether or not you would like to make a claim. If do wish to proceed and your case is successful, you will be awarded a sum of compensation for the pain and suffering you have had to endure.

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