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.

Read More

Investigation Supports Claim for a Loss of Sight after a Routine Eye Procedure

The outcome of a complaint made against the Cheltenham General Hospital supports a patient´s claim for a loss of sight after a routine eye procedure.

An investigation into alleged unsanitary conditions at the Cheltenham General Hospital was initiated after a patient complained about losing sight in one eye after an intravitreal injection – a routine procedure in which injections are made into the vitreous jelly-like area of the eye to deliver medicines close to the retina.

Following the treatment in December 2015, the patient developed endophthalmitis – an inflammation of the internal coats of the eye. Although endophthalmitis is a known complication of intraocular surgery, the man claimed that his loss of sight was due to the treatment room being used for general clinics in the morning, and not sufficiently cleaned afterwards.

The investigation into the patient´s complaint was conducted by senior managers at the hospital, infection control specialists and consultants. Although it was found that the room was cleaned prior to all injection clinics, the surface area around the sink was cluttered, and dust had settled on the theatre light and on several other surfaces.

It was also found during the investigation that – due to time pressure – trolleys were not properly dried after they had been sterilised, and clinicians were failing to leave iodine in the patients´ eyes for the recommended three minutes before commencing the procedure. Following the release of the report into the investigation, the patient made a claim for a loss of sight after a routine eye operation.

Speaking with Gloucester Live, the man´s solicitor raised concerns that other patients may develop endophthalmitis due to the unsanitary conditions at Cheltenham General Hospital. Up to 9,000 intravitreal injections are administered at the hospital each year and, despite an action plan being put in place after the investigation, the lawyer claims there are still cleaning issues in other treatment areas of the department.

Negotiations are ongoing to resolve the patient´s claim for a loss of sight after a routine eye procedure.

Read More

HSE Settles Claim for the Avoidable Death of Savita Halappanavar

The Irish Health Service Executive has settled a claim for the avoidable death of Savita Halappanavar, who died from sepsis after being refused an abortion.

On the morning of Sunday October 21st 2012, Savita Halappanavar (31) attended the Galway University Hospital complaining of back pain. Unaware that Savita was suffering contractions prior to the miscarriage of her first child, doctors at the hospital sent her home.

Savita returned later that day, when doctors identified that her membranes were bulging and ordered blood tests. Savita was admitted for observation, but was told by the hospital registrar that the loss of her child was inevitable. Anti-biotics were prescribed to prevent an infection.

The following morning, Savita´s waters broke. An “await events” approach was adopted by the hospital, and when Savita asked for a termination on the Tuesday morning, her request was refused because a foetal heartbeat was still present.

By Wednesday, Savita´s condition had deteriorated significantly. She was diagnosed with sepsis and prescribed stronger anti-biotics but, when her condition deteriorated further, the decision was made to terminate the pregnancy. At this point it was discovered that the foetal heartbeat had stopped.

During surgery to remove the foetus, Savita spontaneously delivered her dead child. She was transferred to the hospital´s intensive care unit suffering septic shock, but she became critically ill and suffered a fatal cardiac arrest due to severe sepsis on Sunday October 28th.

Savita´s husband – Praveen – took his wife´s body back to India for burial and, on his return to Ireland, made a claim against the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) for the avoidable death of his wife, alleging that had an abortion been performed when it was first requested, Savita would still be alive.

The claim for the avoidable death of Savita Halappanavar attracted interest from all over the world due to Ireland´s abortion laws that acknowledge the right to life of an unborn child with equal right to life of the mother.

Two investigations were launched into the circumstances that led to Savita´s death – both finding significant failings in the standard of care provided by Galway University Hospital. In April 2013, the jury at the inquest into Savita´s death returned a unanimous verdict of death by medical misadventure.

Praveen subsequently left Ireland to pursue his career in the United States and, on his behalf, Praveen´s solicitor made an application for the claim for the avoidable death of Savita Halappanavar to be heard at the High Court.

A court date was set for March 10th but, days before the hearing was due to commence, it was announced that the claim for the avoidable death of Savita Halappanavar had been settled for an undisclosed six-figure amount.

Read More

Boy Awarded £4.8 Million Compensation for Avoidable Renal Failure

A boy of ten has been awarded £4.8 million compensation for an avoidable renal failure after a hearing at the High Court in London

The claim was compensation was made against the Cromwell Hospital in Kensington by the mother of Lucas Tupenny – who had been born at the hospital in January 2004 with a bowel defect. Lucas´ bowel defect was treated by surgeons conducting a colostomy procedure, but during his recovery Lucas went into septic shock and suffered a renal failure.

Lucas had to be placed on a dialysis machine at the age of six months and a year after his birth underwent a kidney transplant. In the subsequent nine years Lucas (now ten years of age) has undergone 28 further operations and spent 149 nights in hospital. His doctors say that future surgery and another kidney transplant is inevitable.

Through his mother – Therese – Lucas made a compensation claim for an avoidable renal failure – alleging that the septic shock was brought on by a breach in the hospital´s duty of care. The hospital admitted liability on 2012 and negotiations commenced to determine how much compensation for an avoidable renal failure Lucas would be entitled to.

At the High Court in London, Judge Richard Parkes heard that an agreement had been reached for £4.8 million and was told by Lucas´ mother “we absolutely think the amount is fair. Lucas has a chronic medical condition and he will need treatment for all his life”.

The judge also watched a video which told the story of Lucas´ life and the challenges he had faced. Lucas was described in court as “enthusiastic, optimistic, energetic and very sociable little boy” and, when the judge enquired after his health, Lucas replied “Good, your Lordship”.

Judge Parkes also heard that Lucas now lives with his mother in Seattle after his parents had divorced. The judge approved the £4.8 million settlement of compensation for an avoidable renal failure and wished the family well – commenting that Therese had shown extraordinary devotion to her son throughout some difficult years.

Read More

Claim for Kidney Transplant Medical Negligence Resolved Out of Court

A Merseyside man´s compensation claim for kidney transplant medical negligence has been resolved out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Robert Law from The Wirral in Merseyside developed lymphoma cancer – a type of blood cancer – following a kidney transplant operation at the Royal Liverpool Hospital in 2010.

It transpired that the infection had been missed when the kidney was screened prior to the transplant, but Robert´s immune system was too weak after the initial surgery for him to undergo a second transplant and he quickly became ill with the disease.

Robert (62) underwent a course of chemotherapy to treat the cancer and it is currently in remission. In 2012 the NHS Blood and Transplant Unit issued him with an apology, and Robert made a claim for kidney transplant medical negligence.

The NHS admitted liability for Robert´s illness, and an undisclosed settlement of medical negligence compensation was negotiated.

Lynda Hamlyn – Chief Executive of the NHS Blood and Transplant Unit – said she hoped the settlement of Robert´s kidney transplant medical negligence compensation claim would allow him to move on from the emotional and physical trauma he had experienced.

Ms Hamlyn added that new mechanisms had been put in place in order that a similar event could not happen again, but a second kidney transplant medical negligence claim is also waiting to be resolved in the case of Gillian Smart (52) from St Helens in Merseyside, who also received a kidney from the infected donor.

Read More

Settlement of Claim for Brain Damage Caused by a Hospital Infection Approved in Court

The settlement of a claim for brain damage caused by a hospital infection has been approved at the Royal Court of Justice in favour of a thirteen-year-old girl.

Ayesha Canning-Kishver from Coventry in the West Midlands was born at Birmingham City Hospital in July 1999 thirteen weeks prematurely. Weighing only 1lb and 12 ounces, and suffering from mild periventricular leukomalcia, Ayesha was transferred to the special neonatal care unit within the hospital, where she seemed to be making a recovery from her condition over the following week.

However, while she was in the neonatal care unit, Ayesha contracted staphylocoous epidermidis and klebsiella – both hospital “superbugs which are caused by bacteria entering the body via the medical devices that were keeping Ayesha alive. Because of her illnesses Ayesha almost died, and she suffered brain damage while she was being resuscitated after being starved of oxygen.

Ayesha will now need around the clock care for the rest of her life; and, on her daughter´s behalf, Shahana Kishver made a compensation claim for brain damage caused by a hospital infection against the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust – claiming that a breach in the hospital´s duty of care led to a delay in Ayesha´s symptoms being diagnosed and appropriate action taken.

The NHS Trust denied its liability for Ayesha´s injuries, and contested the claim for brain damage caused by a hospital infection – arguing that medical staff at the hospital were blameless for Ayesha contracting the superbugs and suffering brain damage, and that the injuries were attributable to Ayesha being born prematurely.

In 2008, a High Court hearing found that the NHS Trust was indeed liable for Ayesha´s injuries and the claim for brain damage caused by a hospital infection was adjourned so that reports could be compiled on Ayesha´s future needs.

At the Royal Court of Justice this week, Mr Justice Neil Butterfield heard that a settlement had been agreed upon that will see Ayesha receive a lump sum compensation payment of £1.3 million immediately, with annual tax-free and index-linked payments of £70,000 until Ayesha reaches the age of eighteen – when they will increase to today´s equivalent of £90,000.

After hearing an apology read to the family by a representative of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust, Judge Butterfield approved the settlement – commenting that “this should not be viewed as a lottery win – rather it will be used to fund the lifetime of care that Ayesha will need”.

Read More