Hospital Trust Agrees Settlement After Patient Instructs Medical Negligence Lawyers To Investigate
A granddad left almost completely blind following complications linked to surgery has revealed the impact his sight problems have on his life.
The man, from north Worcestershire, lost all vision in his left eye and became partially sighted in his right eye after his optic nerve was damaged.
Hours earlier he had undergone surgery in hospital to remove a cancerous left kidney tumour.
Worcestershire man's post-surgery complications
The man, in his 70s, had agreed to undergo surgery to remove part of his left kidney. Several hours after surgery doctors found his wound was bleeding. Approaching two hours later, the man, who doesn’t want to be named, went into cardiac arrest which lawyers say was caused by extreme low blood pressure and a lack of blood to pump round his body.
He underwent emergency surgery to remove the rest of his left kidney. In the early hours of the following day he also underwent further emergency surgery to remove his spleen.
The man, who is now registered blind, spent around two weeks in intensive care. He noticed whilst in hospital that he was unable to see properly.
Medical negligence lawyers are asked to investigate hospital care
He instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his care.
The patient has now joined his legal team in speaking out. It comes after Irwin Mitchell secured him an undisclosed out of court settlement which will fund the ongoing support and therapies he requires.
During legal submissions Irwin Mitchell argued the man wasn’t fully advised about possible risks connected to the type of kidney surgery that he had, and that other alternative options weren’t fully outlined to him.
The Hospital Trust involved denied liability.
Kathryn Salt is the expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the man.
Expert Opinion“The last few years and coming to terms with the life-changing impact of his sight problems has been incredibly difficult for my client.
“It’s our case that if he had been made fully aware of the risks associated with the type of kidney surgery he chose, including that it carried a higher risk of bleeding, he’d have undergone a different method of surgery and wouldn’t have developed the complications he did. We also believe that if immediate action had been taken to return him to theatre once his post-surgery bleeding was identified he wouldn’t have suffered a cardiac arrest and subsequent optical nerve damage.
“While nothing can make up for what he and his family have been through we’re pleased to have secured this settlement which will allow my client to access the specialist support and therapies he requires to try and live as independently as possible.
“However, we also believe that this case highlights the importance of all patients being made fully aware of the pros and cons of surgery before consenting. People put their faith in health professionals and what they’re being told, therefore it’s vital that patients can make the most informed decision about their care and what’s best for their individual circumstances.” Kathryn Salt
Granddad reveals impact sight loss has had and urges patients to ask questions
The man said: “When I first woke up in hospital after my surgeries it was pitch black as if my eyes were closed but I could feel they were open. I couldn’t see anything.
“Eventually some vision in my right eye came back but it’s never got any better. The vision in my right eye now is like I have tunnel vision with a black patch at the bottom. I have no peripheral vision. If I look straight at something I can see it but it must be directly in front of me.
“While I’ve managed to get used to where everything is at home and take my time so I don’t bump into things such as door frames, I still have a lot of difficulty outside. I get disorientated as I can hear people all around me but I can’t see them. I walk with a white stick but no one seems to pay attention and there have been many times when people have bowled into me.
“When I go out it’s usually with my wife and we only tend to go local so I’m familiar with my surroundings.
“All of my family help me and they’re worth their weight in gold. I’m so grateful to have a good family network and I don’t know what I’d do without them, but it does make me feel like a bit of a burden at times.
“I’m upset that I’ve lost a lot of my independence and I can’t do what I had planned for my retirement.
“I know nothing can make up for what happened but I want to try and focus on the future and regain what independence I can. I just hope that by speaking I can make others aware of the need to ensure they ask questions about their care and only commit to something once they’re fully happy.”