Man Seeks Compensation for Eye Infection

An anonymous patient is hoping to be compensation for the partial blindness he developed after poor sanitation during treatment lead to a severe infection.

The negligent treatment was carried out at the Ophthalmic Department in the Cheltenham General Hospital at the end of 2015. The patient was attending for a intravitreal injection, an ordinarily routine procedure in which medication is delivered to the retina by injection into the jelly-like substance supporting the eyeball.

However, shortly after administration of the treatment, the patient developed a severe infection – endophthalmitis – that lead to loss of sight in the injected eye. The infection is usually associated with intraocular surgery, affected the internal layers of the eye.

The unnamed patient sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for medical negligence compensation, alleging that the level of sanitation in the room was substandard and that this was directly responsible for him contracting the infection, rather than it being a routine complication.

In light of these allegations, an investigation ensued that discovered evidence to support the claim. It was found that the area around the sink was very clutter, with dust present in many areas around the room, and that trolleys were not dried after sterilisation. Additionally, clinicians did not follow established guidelines to leave antiseptic on the patient’s eye for at least three minutes before commencing the procedure.

The Gloucester Royal NHS Foundation Trust, who oversee proceedings at the Cheltenham General Hospital, admitted negligence and negotiations have commenced concerning a settlement of compensation for the patient.

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Woman Recovers Compensation for the Late Diagnosis of Cancer

A mother of two has recovered £50,000 compensation for the late diagnosis of cancer which resulted in her unnecessarily having chemotherapy treatment.

The unnamed woman from Swindon in Wiltshire visited her GP in March 2009 complaining of a persistent dry cough, a hoarse voice and a lump on the side of her neck. The woman – who had successfully been treated for breast cancer before in 2000 – was referred to the Ear, Nose and Throat Department of the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

At the hospital, the woman underwent a CT scan that indicated she may have cancer of the lymph nodes. However, a biopsy taken after the scan was too small for the preliminary diagnosis to be confirmed and, following a subsequent MRI on her neck, the woman was diagnosed with “idiopathic vocal chord palsy”.

The woman again visited her GP in July 2011 – this time with a larger lump on the left side of her neck, the same persistent dry cough and hoarse voice as before and pins and needles in her left arm. The GP arranged for his patient to have an urgent chest X-ray. The X-ray revealed breast cancer that had metastasised into the woman´s throat and left shoulder.

Six courses of chemotherapy managed to halt the spread of the cancer and resolve the pins and needles in the woman´s left arm, but such was her distress at having to unnecessarily undergo the invasive treatment, that she complained to the Royal University Hospital about the standard of care that she had received.

After the hospital denied that the standard of care she had received fell below an acceptable level, the woman sought legal advice and claimed compensation for the late diagnosis of cancer. An investigation commissioned by her solicitor found abnormalities in the 2009 MRI scan that “at the time and in the circumstances” should have prompted a second biopsy that would have enabled a correct diagnosis.

Despite legal action being threatened, the Royal United Hospital continued to deny its liability for the woman´s unnecessary chemotherapy treatment and refused to discuss a settlement of compensation for the late diagnosis of cancer. However, as soon as court proceedings were issued, the NHS Litigation Authority agreed to settle the claim for £50,000.

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Cataract Surgery Suspended at Devon Hospital due to Consultant Eye Surgeon Negligence

Cataract surgery was temporarily suspended at the Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay after consultant eye surgeon negligence was attributed to several patients being administered an overdose of antibiotics.

The consultant eye surgeon negligence was revealed after two patients – who had undergone cataract surgery at the Mount Stuart Hospital – attended the Emergency Department of nearby Torbay Hospital complaining of painful eyes.

Examinations of both patients revealed that an overdose of antibiotics had been administered during their respective procedures on July 26, and the Mount Stuart Hospital was alerted straight away.  The Mount Stuart Hospital immediately suspended cataract surgery and launched an investigation.

The results of the investigation showed that the overdose had been caused by the antibiotic having been administered intracamerally (into a chamber deeper within the eye) when the dilution of the antibiotic had been prepared for sub-conjunctive use (just underneath the clear surface of the eye).

A hospital spokesperson explained that the same antibiotic would have been use for both methods of administration but the concentration mix is much different and the stronger solution should not have been administered intracamerally.

“Process failure” and “human” error” were blamed for the consultant eye surgeon negligence and the consultant surgeon – along with the surgeon´s assistant and a circulating practitioner – was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.

All nineteen patients who underwent cataract surgery at the hospital on July 26 were recalled for an immediate check-up. Two patients were reported as being “seriously harmed” and four others “showed symptoms” of an eye injury. None of the recalled patients required corrective eye surgery.

A Care Quality Commission (CQC) investigation was also launched into the consultant eye surgeon negligence which found that appropriate action had been taken quickly to ensure the safety of patients that had undergone cataract surgery. An apology was also issued by the hospital.

Speaking after the CQC investigation, Gill Gant – from the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group – said: “We are satisfied that the hospital has learned important lessons from this incident and that it has acted swiftly to make the necessary changes that will ensure future safety for patients.”

Cataract Surgery has now been resumed at the Mount Stuart Hospital.

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Family Settle Claim for Hospital Negligence after Appendix Operation Claims Life of Daughter

The family of a young girl who died due to hyponatraemia has settled their claim for medical negligence after an appendix operation against the Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry.

In June 2001, nine-year-old Raychel Ferguson attended the Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry for what was supposed to be a straightforward operation to remove her appendix. Although the operation was successful, Raychel reacted to fluid from an intravenous drip which caused an abnormally low level of sodium in her blood to develop, and her brain cells to expand.

Raychel was rushed to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, but her reaction to the fluid was too severe for the injury to be treated and she died from hyponatraemia several hours later.

Raychel´s parents – Ray and Marie Ferguson – made a compensation claim for hospital negligence after an appendix operation against the Western Health and Social Care Trust following an investigation into Raychel´s death which revealed that she was one of four children who had died at the hospital where the incorrect administration of intravenous fluid was a contributing factor to their deaths.

Only last year did the Western Health and Social Care Trust admit liability for Raychel´s death and issue an apology to her family.

Ray and Marie Ferguson´s compensation claim for hospital negligence after an appendix operation continued, and was scheduled to be heard at the High Court in Belfast for the assessment of damages now that liability had been admitted. However, shortly before the hearing was due to get underway, it was revealed that the family had accepted an out-of-court settlement of their claim amounting to £40,000.

The relatively low settlement for the death of a child was explained as being higher than the statutory compensation limit of £11,800. Had the Fergusons pursued with their legal action, the High Court judge could have imposed the compensation limit, and therefore the offer of compensation for hospital negligence after an appendix operation was accepted by the Ferguson´s on the advice of their solicitors.

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Lung Cancer Diagnosis Mistake Compensation for Family of Deceased Man

The family of a deceased husband and father have been awarded an undisclosed settlement of lung cancer diagnosis mistake compensation.

Frank Golby from Coventry had been referred by his GP  to Coventry University Hospital in May 2010 for a CT scan after visiting with a persistent cough. The scan performed showed a 1cm-wide nodule present on his left lung, but doctors missed the indications of a deadly tumour and Frank was diagnosed with a chest infection.

Frank went back to the hospital on several occasions as he was suffering due to  breathing problems and anaemia, but the 2010 scan was never reviewed. It was only when a chest x-ray on 17th February 2012 showed that that the tumour on his lung had enlarged to five times its original size that the proper diagnosis was made; but it was too late for Frank – who passed away the next day, aged 65.

Frank´s family took legal advice and filed made a for lung cancer diagnosis mistake compensation on the grounds that, had the nodule been correctly identified in 2010 at a stage when the cancer was treatable, Frank would have lived for at least a further ten years.

After a review of the negligent treatment Frank had received, his wife, son, daughter and two grandchildren were offered an apology by the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and an undisclosed five-figure settlement of lung cancer diagnosis mistake compensation was agreed between the Trust and solicitors representing Frank´s family.

This article and website is about medical negligence claims in the UK. You can read a detailed article about making medical negligence claims in Ireland by clicking here.

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Widower Awarded Compensation for Fatal Surgical Negligence

A man, whose wife died after a supposedly routine operation, has been awarded £150,000 compensation for fatal surgical negligence.

In March 2010, Helen Blyth was admitted into Northampton General Hospital for an operation to repair a large hiatus hernia located behind her heart. The “routine” operation appeared to be successful; but at 8:00pm that evening, Helen´s blood pressure started to fall and, at 1:00am the following morning she was unresponsive.

Helen was rushed back into the operating theatre, but was pronounced dead at 1:55am. The inquest into her death concluded that a rare complication had caused the fall in blood pressure and subsequent cardiac arrest; but Helen´s widower – Sydney Blyth – was not convinced and asked solicitors to look more closely into his wife´s death.

Medical experts working on behalf of the solicitor discovered that the surgeon who had conducted the surgery – Mr David Cubbon-Hunter – had used Pro Tack staples during the operation, despite a warning from the manufacturer that Pro Tack staples should not be used in situations where the hiatus hernia was located in the diaphragm.

Using this information, Sydney claimed compensation for fatal surgical negligence against Mr Cubbon-Hunter and the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust – alleging that Mr Cubbon-Hunter was negligent for using Pro Tack staples when he should have been aware of the warning issued by the manufacturer.

After investigating the claim for compensation for fatal surgical negligence, the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust admitted liability for the error responsible for Helen´s death. A settlement amounting to £150,000 was negotiated to compensate Sydney and his family for the tragic loss of his wife and his children´s mother.

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Hysterectomy Negligence Compensation Awarded for Gynaecological Errors

A woman who lost her child due to a medical error by staff at the Royal Cornwall Hospital has been awarded £62,000 in hysterectomy negligence compensation for gynaecological errors in an out-of-court settlement.

The anonymous woman attended the Royal Cornwall Hospital in November 2007 for a hysterectomy procedure, during which it was found that she was fourteen weeks pregnant. The woman was not aware that she was pregnant but, once her cervix had been removed, the continuation of the pregnancy was not possible.

Following an investigation into the procedure it was discovered that the consultant gynaecologist – Dr Rob Jones – had found that the uterus was “abnormally large” but had proceeded with the procedure regardless. Dr Jones has since resigned and is currently being investigated by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists over the frequency of surgical complications during his operations.

After seeking legal counsel, the woman took0 a claim for hysterectomy negligence compensation against the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust stating that, had she been aware that she was pregnant, she would never have proceeded with the hysterectomy procedure. Despite the fact that she suffered no physical harm, it was agreed that the patient had undergone a significant emotional trauma and stress.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust accepted liability for an “inadvertent termination” and agreed that that the diagnosis of the pregnancy should have been made at the point when it was still viable to for the pregnancy to go on. After talking with the woman’s legal representative’s, a settlement of £62,000 in hysterectomy negligence compensation was agreed.

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Seven Figure Hospital Malpractice Award Anticipated for Wolverhampton Boy

A ten-year-old Wolverhampton boy, who was brain damaged at birth due to alleged negligence, has won his battle for hospital malpractice compensation.

Joseph O’Reggio was born in April 2001. Prior to his delivery, Mr Justice Tugendhat heard at London´s High Court, Joe was starved of oxygen and suffered brain damage due to this.

Joe was left with cerebral palsy as a consequence of this birth injury, wheelchair bound and suffering from severe learning difficulties. The Court was also told how the boy is unable to speak or feed himself.

It was claimed in an hospital malpractice award action against the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust that medical staff should have realised at an earlier stage that Joe was in distress and brought forward his delivery.

Though the NHS Trust denied that Joe´s injuries were caused by medical negligence, they agreed on the day before the trial was due to commence to admit 80 per cent liability for the claim, which will now go for assessment of damages.

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