Misdiagnosis Of Eye Infection Leads To Unnecessary Surgery

Misdiagnosis Of Eye Infection Leads To Unnecessary Surgery

On 5 July 2008, our client attended her local walk-in centre after becoming concerned when she began experiencing pain and redness in her eye over a period of 24 hours.

She was seen by a Nurse Practitioner who failed to examine her or send her for examination by a specialist. The Nurse Practitioner did not establish that Mrs Sureka wore contact lenses or that she had diabetes, which put her at increased risk of developing an eye infection. Instead, she was diagnosed with conjunctivitis and prescribed eye drops.

4 days later, her symptoms had become so severe that she made the decision to go to casualty where she was examined by an eye specialist. The specialist diagnosed a serious bacterial infection which had caused an abscess to form.
 
The woman was admitted to the hospital and was finally prescribed oral antibiotics, and antibiotic and steroid eye drops before she was discharged almost a week later on 15 July.

Because of the infection, the woman’s eye had became inflamed and scarred and as a result she suffered from reduced vision. On 24 September 2009, she underwent a cornea transplant to treat her symptoms. Unfortunately this is a surgery that she will most likely have to have repeated every ten years. She was also left with the possibility that the condition of her eye could deteriorate, leaving her without vision in her left eye.

Medical reports found that had the Nurse Practitioner done more to examine the woman and research her medical history; she could have been diagnosed four days earlier. In this instance it could well have been possible to treat the infection with a topical antibiotic, rather than resorting to surgery.

Peter Cutler, a specialist lawyer in Irwin Mitchell’s London office was able to secure £70,000 in compensation for the woman for pain and suffering, out of pocket expenses and the cost of the numerous future surgeries she will need.

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