Our eyesight is arguably one of the most important senses that we have. If this has been taken away due to medical negligence, this can be extremely distressing and traumatic.
As a patient, you put your trust in your ophthalmic surgeon, or other medical professional, and you expect your procedure to be carried out with a high level of skill, professionally and safely.
If the treatment you receive falls below these expectations and you’re injured as a result, this could result in a large compensation claim.
The 3 Most Common Mistakes Made During Eye Surgery
A study by the Medical Protection Society analysed 700 UK cases and identified some reasons why patients decide to take action, and why claims are settled in ophthalmology.
1. Inadequate Consent
In many cases, it was found that there was a large level of inadequate consent before the procedure. For example, the ophthalmologist not adequately checking that the patient fully-understood what procedure they were having, or the complications and risks involved.
This has been found in many cases of laser eye surgery. In one case, consent was taken just 30 minutes before the procedure and no discussion took place indicating possible complications and their implications on future employment.
2. Incorrect Lens Insertion
It is also common that the incorrect lens had been inserted during procedures.
This resulted in many claimants suffering from blurred vision and having to undergo revision surgery. Complications following the negligence also included dry eyes and retinal detachments.
This was found in cases of intraocular lens (IOL) exchange and cataract surgery.
Pooling of patients for IOL operating lists does occur in some hospitals, and, as a result, the operating consultant may see their patients for the first time on the day of surgery.
This places a heavy reliance on trainee doctors or nurse specialists to take IOL measurements and late patient consent may have contributed to claims of incorrect lens insertion and inadequate consent.
3. Failures and Delays to Diagnose
These include alleged missed retinal detachment, delay in referral for diagnosis of glaucoma, and alleged failure to diagnose the cause of deteriorating vision.
The Typical Level of Compensation
Having your eyesight impaired or even completely lost is life changing, and, although the effects are truly devastating, it is possible a compensation claim can lead to large financial settlements.
The value of the settled claim will often include compensation for care and loss of earnings, if applicable, in addition to an award for the damage that resulted from a breach of duty.
The value of each claim varies enormously, with the highest ophthalmology total case payment (claimant damages, costs and legal costs) being well in excess of £1 million.
The highest cataract surgery or intraocular lens implants total case payment was in excess of £80,000, and the highest IOL exchange surgery total case payment was in excess of £140,000.
How to Make A Claim for This
At Howells, we understand the impact that issues with your eyesight can have on work and everyday life. Whether you have suffered a loss of sight in one eye or battled through blurred vision after improper medical care, you can have a case for eye injury compensation.
Get in touch today to see how our medical negligence solicitors can help you get the compensation you deserve.