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Compensation For Man Left Blind In One Eye After Negligent Medical Treatment

Our Medical Negligence team have secured a settlement for an 83 year-old man – Mr R – who sustained permanent loss of vision in one eye due to mistakes made during his treatment in hospital.

Mr R visited his GP practice suffering from a headache, tenderness in his scalp, pain in his jaw and swelling around his eyes. His GP prescribed antibiotics and took a blood sample.

Upon receiving the blood results, Mr R’s GP made no attempt to inform him of these results or to ask him to return to the surgery.

Mr R started taking the prescribed antibiotics immediately, but, experiencing no improvement, he returned to the surgery a few days later. The jaw pain was still so bad that he had resorted to sleeping in a chair. After consulting with another doctor, Mr R’s GP advised him to go to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Mr R travelled to the hospital later that day. His headache was now even more persistent, his temperature was elevated and the swelling around his eyes had increased.

Doctors visited him the next day and Mr R was scheduled for a CT scan that afternoon. However, the CT scan was delayed until the next day, and he was not visited again by a member of the medical team until the day after that. At this time, his eyes were less swollen but he was still complaining of jaw pain.

The client was seen by healthcare professionals the next day, when temporal arteritis was discussed as a possible reason for his symptoms. Temporal - or giant cell arteritis - is a condition in which the arteries in the head and neck become inflamed, causing jaw pain, headaches and vision loss.

That afternoon, Mr R experienced a sudden loss of vision in his right eye. A diagnosis of giant cell arteritis was confirmed, and treatment with steroids was started.

Mr R was discharged from hospital on November 25, 2010, but the loss of vision in his right eye is unfortunately permanent. Furthermore, the vision in his left eye has been reduced due to a cataract.

The client contacted our Medical Negligence team and asked us to investigate the treatment he received from staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. We made a compensation claim against the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust who runs the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The trust settled our claim out-of-court and the compensation will help Mr. R cover any expenses as he adjusts to life with his injury.

Emma Rush, the partner who worked on this case, said: “Mr R was subject to a series of avoidable mistakes when he visited his GP and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Unfortunately, he has been left with permanent damage to his vision as a result of this, but the compensation received will help to alleviate the financial burden of adjusting to this injury”.

Our Medical Negligence team may be able to help if you have suffered due to negligent or delayed treatment. Please see our Hospital Negligence page for more information.

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