Eye Injury Claims

Claim Compensation for Eye Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence

Ophthalmology is the medical specialism which is concerned with eyes and the visual system. Ophthalmologists are doctors who specialise in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of eye conditions.

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  • “They are able to handle all clinical negligence claims including the very biggest catastrophic brain injury claims.”

  • “Stephanie is absolutely fantastic. She works incredibly hard for her clients and has a great deal of compassion.”

This speciality involves a mix of medical and surgical management, which deals with a diverse range of injuries and diseases. As with other doctors in other specialisms, ophthalmologists can opt to train in particular sub-specialities, including eye development and disease in children or retinal disease in patients with diabetes and age-related macular degeneration.

However, despite intensive training, doctors still make mistakes. Errors include misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis, surgery slip-ups, and medication prescription mistakes.

Eye injury negligence claims include:

Optic Neuritis

Optic neuritis is when the optic nerve becomes inflamed, causing pain, flashing lights and vision loss, which can be permanent. Optic neuritis is most commonly linked to Multiple Sclerosis but can occur due to infection or autoimmune diseases. If diagnosed correctly and treated promptly with steroids, most people enjoy a quick recovery and their vision returns to normal.

However, many patients diagnosed with optic neuritis may be misdiagnosed, leading to unnecessary and inappropriate treatment. A recent study that examined the medical records of patients referred to ophthalmology doctors for the treatment of optic neuritis found that of 122 patients, only 49 had the condition. At the same time, 73 were diagnosed with migraine or other conditions related to the eye, such as ischemia or tumour.1 The primary concern with this data is that patients may have to endure unnecessary treatments and potentially harmful tests until they are correctly diagnosed.

Brain Tumour

In Montreal2, an ophthalmologist failed to diagnose a man who complained of vision loss correctly. She diagnosed macular degeneration and glaucoma, giving him medication for both conditions. However,

another ophthalmologist who saw him a few weeks later diagnosed partial blindness. A brain scan was ordered, confirming the presence of a brain tumour causing his symptoms.

In the UK, an Optometrist at Boots Opticians failed to spot abnormalities in the eyes of an 8-year-old boy Vinnie Barker who died five months after he had a routine eye test at Boots Opticians in Ipswich, Suffolk. The conduct of the optometrist Honey Rose fell so far below the standards expected of an optometrist she was found guilty of manslaughter and gross negligence.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve is damaged due to the increase in the pressure of the fluid inside the eye. Most types of glaucoma have no symptoms, and a regular eye test is the only way to know if you have the condition. Glaucoma can lead to loss of vision if not diagnosed and treated correctly. There is no treatment to restore sight once it has been lost due to glaucoma.

There are various types of glaucoma:

  • Primary open-angle glaucoma
  • A chronic condition, which means that the damage to your optic nerve and changes to your vision
  • happen more slowly
  • Acute angle glaucoma
  • An acute condition when the pressure increase in your eye happens more quickly, it is painful and can
  • Cause permanent damage to your eyesight if it is not treated quickly
  • Secondary glaucoma
  • This occurs as a result of another eye condition, such as injury, surgery or medication

Congenital glaucoma

This is very rare and affects young babies and is diagnosed in early years and a child with this condition

is carefully managed in a specialist clinic.

At Osbornes Law, we have acted for clients misdiagnosed with Primary Open Angle and Acute Angle glaucoma. We have successfully proved that they had received substandard optical care. Damages were awarded.

Surgical errors

Surgical errors in ophthalmology can involve the wrong site and incorrect lens implantation or procedure. Most of these errors are highly preventable if protocols and guidelines are followed.

Cataracts

Incorrect lens

The most common eye operation is for cataracts, with nearly 400,000 surgeries performed by the NHS in 2016-2017. During this period, it was found that surgeons inserted the incorrect lens in 21 of these cataract operations. This is an entirely preventable error. A representative of the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (a team of safety investigators funded by the Department of Health) said, ‘Having the wrong lens implanted during cataract surgery is something that any one of us or our family members could experience. Data from national reporting shows that despite existing procedures and guidance, the insertion of the wrong lens is still happening’.

Incorrect sight

In 2018, a story on the BBC website described how the head of the neurosurgery department in NHS Tayside, Sam Eljamel, harmed dozens of patients over many years. On asking for her medical records, one of his patients discovered that Eljamel had made a serious surgical error when ostensibly treating her eye condition. She had a benign growth behind her eye. Following surgery for its removal, Eljamel told her that the tumour was 99% removed. However, he did not remove the tumour but rather the patient’s tear gland. Since the operation, she has continued to suffer pain and dry eye problems. She sued the hospital and received compensation. Unfortunately, many of Eljamel’s patients, harmed by his errors, cannot sue because they missed the 3-year limit for making a claim. However, there is some hope that Eljamel may be criminally prosecuted.

Medication errors

Two hundred thirty-seven million drug errors are made in England each year. Doctors, pharmacists and nurses are responsible, amounting to 1 mistake for every five drugs given. One study estimated that drug errors cause 700 deaths yearly and could be a causative factor in up to 22,000 deaths. One study of prescribing errors within a UK eye hospital showed that 8% of prescription cards had errors, with most mistakes made in the outpatient department.

In 2018, an unusual report was published by the British Medical Journal’s Case Report. A woman suffered a chemical injury to her eye due to a prescribing error. Instead of being given the prescribed eye lubricant VitA-POS for her condition of dry eyes, she was given Vitaros, a cream that can be prescribed for erectile dysfunction. The introduction of the Vitaros caused a chemical injury of her eyes. She presented to her local Accident and Emergency department complaining of eye pain, swollen eyelids and blurred vision and required treatment with antibiotics and steroids. In this case, both the pharmacist and GP were at fault.

Our Promise to You

  • We will review your potential claim by advising you on the NHS complaints procedure or other alternative procedures if your case does not relate to NHS care and treatment.
  • We will not charge a fee for our time in reviewing your case.
  • We can assist you with any issues that you may have regarding the complaints procedure or that you encounter in obtaining copies of your medical records.
  • We will advise you of the course of action with respect to your case.

Speak to us about an Eye Injury Claim

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

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    • Osbornes is a very respected firm in the marketplace.

      Chambers UK 2024

    • They handle really complex cases very well

      Chambers UK 2024

    • The clinical negligence team are knowledgeable and professional in their approach and demonstrate a high level of skill in litigation work.

      Chambers UK 2024

    • Osbornes Law offers experience in obstetric and fatal claims as well as niche cauda equina cases.

      Chambers UK 2024

    • Osbornes Law is an established firm which handles a breadth of complex and high-value clinical negligence matters.

      Chambers UK 2024

    • Osbornes has a skilled team of solicitors advising clients on a wide range of clinical negligence matters.

      Legal 500 2024

    • Hard working, approachable, good knowledge of clinical negligence and clients’ specific conditions

      Legal 500 2024

    • A joy to work with and always 100% client focused at all times.

      Legal 500 2024

    • The clinical negligence team at Osbornes is much lauded for its ability to ‘represent the diverse range of London-based clients

      Legal 500 2024

    • “The team is very quick and efficient in responding."

      CHAMBERS UK 2023

    • "Obsbornes Law is always client-focused and works tirelessly to obtain the best outcomes for clients."

      CHAMBERS UK 2023

    • ‘They are ambitious for their clients and expect high standards from all who work with them.’

      Legal 500 2023

    • "Osbornes somehow combine the accessibility of a local firm, with the professional standards of a national or city outfit."

      Legal 500 2023

    • "Osbornes, is described as having ‘superb judgement and a medical knowledge that is second to none."

      Legal 500 2023

    • Stephanie has developed a particularly strong reputation for her handling of birth injury claims, as well as cases concerning surgical negligence and delays in surgery.

      Chambers UK

    • "An excellent firm which achieves fantastic outcomes for clients."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Stephanie Prior takes on complex cases and gets excellent results. She has a background in medicine which serves her clients well and is a realistic but tough litigator."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Stephanie Prior is hugely dedicated, adored by her clients, tenacious, efficient and extremely knowledgeable."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Stephanie Prior is very good with troubled clients and is easily able to make them feel at ease."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Stephanie shows sensitivity and deals with things in an understanding way."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • Osbornes provides a very intimate and personal client service which is increasingly rare in this sector.

      Legal 500 2020 - Clinical Negligence

    • The lawyers in the team are highly experienced and will drive cases very hard on behalf of their clients.

      Legal 500 2020 - Clinical Negligence

    • "Stephanie Prior has a realistic attitude to the complexities of the cases. She wins the trust of her clients and goes the extra mile to ensure they get the best outcomes."

      Legal 500 2020 - Stephanie Prior

    • "Stephanie Prior... manages a varied caseload, including obstetric claims, child and adult brain injury cases and fatal and non-fatal spinal cord injury cases."

      Chambers UK

    • "Stephanie is experienced, knowledgeable of all aspects of clinical negligence work, and strategic in running cases."

      Chambers UK

    • "An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."

      Chambers UK

    • "The team were extremely professional in putting my needs first. There was a joined-up approach to catering for the client, and all lawyers involved were briefed and constructive."

      Chambers UK

    • Stephanie Prior is always very professional and kind. Highly recommended.

      Medical Negligence Client

    • Quite simply excellent, with a highly competent and well-rounded team. They understand complex medical litigation and have been our lifesavers, and we will always owe them our immense gratitude.

      Medical Negligence Client

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