Woman Loses Eyesight Following Delay In Diagnosis Of Treatable Condition

Woman Loses Eyesight Following Delay In Diagnosis Of Treatable Condition

Irwin Mitchell’s expert medical negligence team has recovered compensation for a woman who lost her sight after ‘an administrative error’ meant she wasn’t treated for age-related macular degeneration.

Our client, Mrs S (a retired 73-year-old lady), was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration of the left eye in approximately June 2008. Staff at Moorfield’s Eye Hospital informed her that it was a treatable condition and that she would retain her eyesight. They told her that her eye could be treated with a course of injections, but that the hospital needed to apply for funding for the injections she required.

Despite Mrs S attending a number of eye appointments afterwards, she never received the treatment and it wasn’t until a year later, after her son complained, that the Trust realised that she had ‘slipped through the net due to an administrative error’.

Age-related macular degeneration is a condition known to respond well to timely treatment that involves a course of injections of Lucentis into the eye. This can stop sight deteriorating, but only rarely will eyesight improve. However, due to the delay in treatment, staff informed Mrs S that the eye couldn’t now be treated because of extensive scarring caused by the disease.

Although the eye was already visually impaired, Mrs S lost the chance to undertake treatment that would at least stall the disease and preserve what eyesight she did have.

The Trust admitted that they didn’t provide her with prompt treatment for her age-related macular degeneration when she attended their centre in Ealing. Irwin Mitchell secured an out-of-Court settlement of £30,000.

Kate Major, a clinical negligence expert at Irwin Mitchell, represented Mrs S. She said: “Hopefully lessons will be learnt from this case."

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