Pryers was able to help Frank restore justice after a delay in diagnosis of an eye infection led to permanent loss of vision, pain, poor mental health and difficulty returning to work.
In 2012, Frank attended his GP surgery after experiencing pain and redness in his right eye for three days. He’d been using contact lenses for many years, and his GP immediately referred him to the eye clinic at his local hospital.
Although Frank was seen the same day, no corneal examination was undertaken, and he was diagnosed with idiopathic anterior uveitis – an inflammatory disease that produces swelling and can destroy eye tissues. He was prescribed a course of steroids and advised to return for review in 7-10 days.
Frank was seen 8 days later, and doctors found that his right eye vision had deteriorated by three times since their initial assessment. The cornea was noted to have numerous punctate erosions and he was diagnosed with severe corneal epitheliopathy – a disease that results in dot-like staining of the corneal epithelium. Frank was then tapered off the steroids and advised to apply hourly ocular lubricants.
A week later, Frank was reviewed again, and doctors found that there was no improvement of his right eye, and his visibility remained poor. At this appointment, it was noted that Frank wore contact lenses, and an ointment was added to his medication. However, four days later Frank’s symptoms became much worse, and he was diagnosed with corneal oedema – a swelling of the cornea that can occur following ocular surgery, trauma, infection, inflammation or as a secondary result of various ocular diseases.
Another week later, a trainee ophthalmologist at the hospital reviewed Frank and suspected acanthamoeba, an infection of the cornea caused by a microscopic organism called Acanthamoeba, which is common in nature and is usually found in bodies of water (lakes, oceans and rivers) as well as domestic tap water, swimming pools, hot tubs, soil and air. The trainee ophthalmologist performed a corneal scrape, and the diagnosis was confirmed 3 days later, and the correct treatment was finally commenced.
Unfortunately, by this time the damage to Frank’s right eye was severe and permanent. Because of the negligence Frank developed ring keratitis, epithelial abrasion, corneal thinning and vascularisation, significant corneal scarring, and experienced on-going pain requiring daily drops. Most significantly, Frank lost all sight in his right eye. These injuries were permanent and there was no treatment to help alleviate the symptoms except for removal of the eye – a procedure neither Frank nor his treating clinicians wanted to perform.
Frank struggled to go back to work as a result of the loss of and subsequently suffered from depression. He was keen to start Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to overcome his depression and was eager to settle the claim soon as possible. We therefore negotiated with the Defendant and agreed a settlement of £160,000 to close the matter and allow Frank to get the treatment he needed to move on from the medical mistakes he’d encountered.