Drug Trial Went Wrong: A Case of Medical Malpractice

We expect to be able to trust our doctors. They study for many years and we put our health and sometimes our lives in their hands. Nevertheless, sometimes things go wrong. In one sense, we can understand that doctors are still human and sometimes people’s bodies react unexpectedly, such as an unexpected allergic reaction. However, in other cases, it is due to negligence on behalf of staff who have failed to follow the proper protocols. In this case, the patient may claim for a personal injury lawsuit and receive compensation. So long as they have suffered as a result of the mistake, either mentally or physically and have also suffered financially. You can read more in these legal FAQs

In one, particularly shocking case there was a trial involving eight healthy young men who were testing a new experimental drug that was hoped to treat leukemia, known as TGN1412. The drug was designed to manipulate the immune system and had already been tested successfully on monkeys.

The trial should have been a routine trail, taking place in an independent clinic in London. However, it soon spiraled out of control. Just an hour after the drug was administered, 6 of the volunteers were fighting for their lives and had to be rushed to intensive care. Some were vomiting, fainting and screaming in pain. Their temperatures went up and their organs began to fail. Their bodies began to swell so dramatically that they made headlines being named ‘elephant men’

The doctors and nurses at London’s Northwick Park Hospital fought to save the men’s lives. Nothing like this had happened before and there was no procedure in place. Many of the men spent months in hospital as a result, affecting their lives forever. For some it resulted in amputations, one volunteer who was just 21 had parts of his toes and fingers amputated.

The first to receive the drug was David Oakley, who was so ill that his fiancée was called in and told to prepare for the worst. When she saw him, she said that he was so swollen that he looked disfigured. No-one expected this from a routine drug trial. 

Investigators were called in to find out what went wrong. It was treated as a crime scene as it was suspected that something could have been tampered with. No-one could fathom how this could have happened without some sort of foul play involved. However, Prarexel who ran the trail was found to act within its protocols. 

In a final report, it was found that the main issue was with the dosage, the safe dosage was not considered for humans. And whilst no one could have predicted that it would end so dramatically the men had to be compensated for what they had suffered. Some have suffered things that will stay with them forever such as loss of limbs, weakened immune systems and other side effects. Furthermore, we may not know yet how it will affect them in the future. Their compensation payments remain confidential. 

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Hello there! I’m Gareth, the 16-Bit Dad; a retro gaming blogger, Twitch Streamer and Autism Parent. With a focus on great games, a wonderful Stream community and help for other Autism Parents, I review games, play them with the community and share my learnings about Autism!

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