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.

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