The patient suffered from long standing poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. The Claimant's medical history records that the Claimant had " early background retinopathy for which there is no treatment required at this stage."
The Claimant attended the Defendant's diabetic and ophthalmic clinics.
Notwithstanding the findings made by a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon in January the Claimant was not seen again in the ophthalmic clinic until 3 rd September 2003. There was negligent delay in review and treatment. The Claimant had a corrected visual acuity with glasses of the right and left eyes, the left improving with a pinhole and it was noted that his " Diabetes is not well controlled. " The Claimant was considered to have active neovascularisation in the left eye and consented to have pan retinal coagulation to the left eye and local anaesthetic drops were put in his left eye.
However, negligently pan retinal coagulation laser therapy was applied to his right eye instead of the worse affected left eye.
Vision in the Claimant's untreated left eye continued to deteriorate. He told an optician what had happened and asked for treatment. Concern was expressed to the Ophthalmic surgeon who was asked urgently to review the Claimant and consider further treatment for his retinopathy and deteriorating vision.
The Claimant was not seen until some eleven weeks later on 26 th November 2003.
On 2nd December 2003 the Claimant suffered a vitreous haemorrhage in his left eye which resulted in loss of vision.
The Claimant was seen by a new Consultant on 20 th May 2004 and found to have bilateral proliferative diabetic retinopathy with right exudative maculopathy and left vitreous haemorrhage, with early tractional retinal detachment and with neovascularisation of the disc. Good pan retinal photocoagulation was noted in the right eye. The new consultant advised that a vitrectomy operation be performed with preoperative laser treatment for the left eye and further laser treatment to the right eye. The Claimant received this treatment.
The vitrectomy operation on the Claimant's left eye was technically successful. However, by 28 th July 2004 it was recorded that this eye was developing an early nuclear cataract and the left visual acuity only improved to 17% and the left eye needed further pan retinal coagulation. Before the vitreous haemorrhage the Claimant's left eye had been capable of 55% vision.
We argued that the Claimant's left eye should have been treated by or before 3 rd September 2003 with pan retinal coagulation which session should have been promptly followed by further sessions of pan retinal coagulation so that the Claimant's left eye received a total of some 2,000 applications. If this had been done the Claimant would have retained vision in his left eye at about 55% and would not have suffered a vitreous haemorrhage with the consequent loss of left vision on 2.12.03. He would not have needed to undergo a vitrectomy and would not have developed a nuclear cataract in his left eye. He would not have been at a 5% risk of suffering a detached retina.
The claim was defended. The Defendants chose to settle the claim without making an admission of liability. The Claimant recovered significant compensation for his injuries and losses.
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