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Compensation secured for woman left blind in one eye after delay in diagnosis

Medical negligence lawyers act for woman whose GP failed to spot her detached retina

Posted on 13 April 2015

A woman known only as Ms S has received compensation after a GP failed to spot that she had a detached retina.

Ms S, a diabetic, had previously undergone two successful operations for cataracts.

Several years later she started to notice that her vision was failing in her left eye.

She was prescribed glasses by her optometrist in November 2009 but this did not help her eyesight.

Ms S visited her GP a month later complaining of loss of vision. She was prescribed eye drops but returned to the practice a week later as her sight had not improved.

On her second visit she was seen by a different GP who noted cloudiness on the lens of the left eye, and referred her to see an opthalmic specialist.

While she was still waiting for this referral, Ms S lost all vision in her left eye.

On 29 December 2009 she telephoned her GP, who made an urgent referral to a specialist eye hospital.

At the hospital, Ms S was told that she had suffered a detached retina some 3-4 weeks earlier, which had led to her loss of vision and which was by that point irreparable.

Medical negligence solicitor Angharad Vaughan acted for Ms S in her compensation claim and was able to show that had Ms S received competent medical treatment in November and December 2009, she would have been referred for specialist investigation sooner, which would have led to earlier diagnosis and treatment of the detached retina which could have saved her vision.

Further investigation revealed that one of the GPs had altered their clinical notes retrospectively and liability for Ms S’s injuries was admitted.

A substantial five figure settlement was agreed.

Angharad Vaughan, solicitor in the medical negligence team at Leigh Day, who secured compensation for Ms M, said:

“This was a frightening and tragic experience for Ms S who has suffered a complete and permanent loss of vision in her left eye as a result of a negligent delay in referring her for specialist investigation.  

Ms S now lives in constant fear of losing vision in her right eye, which would leave her totally blind. I can only hope that the medical professionals involved in this sad case have learned lessons and improved their practice, in order prevent this happening again.”