eye surgery

Ophthalmic Treatment and Eye Surgery Compensation Claims

If you have sustained an eye injury through the negligence of your GP, surgeon, consultant, nurse or pharmacist you could be entitled to compensation. Contact  Devonshires Claims’  medical negligence solicitors to begin your negligent eye surgery compensation claim. Call us today on 0333 577 9444 or email cn@devonshires.co.uk.

What is an eye injury?

An eye injury can occur when the eye or the surrounding nerves or blood vessels are damaged through misdiagnosis or delay in treatment, mistakes or negligence during surgery or post care and through prescription or medication errors.

The common symptoms of an eye injury could include:

  • Acute or chronic pain
  • Discomfort such as swelling and dry eyes
  • Visual disturbances such as blurred vision, halos, light sensitivity, poor night vision
  • Partial or complete loss of eye sight

What are the common errors leading to eye surgery compensation claims?

Although thousands of successful operations and procedures are carried out throughout the NHS and private practices every year, mistakes can happen.

Richard Whittington, Chief Operating Officer with the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) explained some of the pressures facing the NHS eye services:

“With new treatments and technologies preventing and even reversing sight loss, eye health should be a strong story of success for the NHS. Yet while spending on eye health has almost doubled in the last 10 years, from £1.2 billion to £2.3 billion, hospital eye clinics are bursting at the seams.

Ophthalmology is now the largest speciality when looking at outpatient appointments. Attendance at eye clinics has rocketed and, with an ageing population and rising levels of obesity and diabetes, the demand on services and the levels of sight loss show no signs of relenting”.

(source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/creating-a-community-of-care-on-eye-health/)

When making an eye injury compensation claim it is important to prove a direct link between the negligent medical care and the eye injury. The eye specialist involved in the surgery or procedure could have:

  • Failed to explain the risks associated with the treatment
  • Failed to obtain adequate consent from the patient
  • Failed to remedy the original eye condition or conducted the treatment to a poor standard, therefore causing a more serious complication, including loss of vision or vision problems

 

The common errors associated with an eye injury include:

Common Medical Errors Examples
Misdiagnosis Optic neuritis

Optic neuritis is a condition where the optic nerve becomes inflamed. Although commonly associated with MS it can also occur as a consequence of infection or autoimmune disease. Optic neuritis is often misdiagnosed and the subsequent delay in obtaining the correct treatment could result in further eye injury and damage to eye sight.

Delayed diagnosis Brain tumour

The late diagnosis of a brain tumour can potentially affect vision and the loss of vision is sometimes misdiagnosed as macular degeneration and glaucoma.

 

Glaucoma

Many types of Glaucoma display no symptoms but the condition is commonly detected through regular eye check-ups. However if the Glaucoma Is not diagnosed in time and / or treated correctly it could lead to permanent sight loss.

Failure to diagnose and treat eye conditions in premature babies. One such condition is retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). If this condition is not diagnosed and treated early it may cause a loss of vision.

Failure to explain the risks of an eye surgery or treatment and failing to obtain informed consent Professionals must explain the risks and benefits of procedures to patients.  If this is not carried out properly, then some patients may make decisions on limited facts which can have devastating consequences.
Negligent corrective laser eye surgery Laser eye surgery involves reshaping the front surface of the eye or the cornea in order to improve focus. Laser eye surgery is performed to correct short sightedness, long sightedness and astigmatism. However the surgery can be carried out negligently resulting in significant sight problems.
Negligent cataract surgery or other surgery requiring a lens replacement Cataracts

Cataract surgery is the most frequently undertaken NHS surgical procedure with approximately 400,000 cataract operations undertaken in England and 20,000 in Wales in the 2016 – 2017 (source: https://www.nodaudit.org.uk/u/docs/20/iitpmzzqxi/NOD%20Audit%20Summary%202018.pdf)

 

Lens replacement surgery

A variety of eye conditions could require the replacement of the lens with an artificial lens.

The lens replacement surgery many have been carried out in a negligent manner or a faulty lens may have been inserted.

In 2014 and 2017, multinational corporation, Oculentis issued safety notices and recalled its intraocular lens product known as the LENTIS HydroSmart intraocular lens. Devonshires are working with an increasing number of patients who were fitted with this Oculentis faulty lens and as a consequence are now suffering problems with their vision.

Eye injuries to a newborn (including premature babies) relating to negligence associated with pregnancy, child birth or post birth care or treatment Damage to the eye sight associated with a birth injury such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and cerebral palsy.
Prescription / medication errors These types of claims may arise if the incorrect medication has been provided to treat a condition, e.g. diabetes and subsequently causing problems with vision.

 

 

What are the most common eye surgeries performed?

Opthalmic (eye) surgery is required to treat a number of conditions or to improve eye-sight. Surgery can be performed to:

  • Improve eye-sight – Lasers are used by eye specialists to make adjustments to the internal structure of the eye. Various lasers are used such as LASIK, LASEK, PRK or Wavefront-guided LASIK surgery.
  • Improve eye-sight by replacing the lens with an artificial one. Devonshires’ Claims is currently representing a number of clients who received lenses manufactured by Oculentis which are now said to be faulty.
  • Cataract surgery – to remove a cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial one.
  • Diabetes complications – to repair damage to the blood vessels caused by diabetes, injections into the eye to treat diabetic retinopathy.
  • Glaucoma treatment- Excess fluid in the eye leads to an increase in pressure which can damage the optic nerve and vision
  • Surgery for retinal disorders including a detached retina
  • strabismus surgery (for squints)
  • Eye disease in children and sight development impairments

(Source: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/doctors/roles-doctors/ophthalmology)

 

How do I claim compensation for negligent eye surgery, laser eye surgery or other ophthalmic treatment?

Negligent eye surgery, treatment, lens replacement or other procedure could leave you with pain and lifelong visual impairment.

The compensation potentially available to eye injury victims could help you obtain:

  • Corrective surgery or treatment
  • Rehabilitation to improve the eye condition or your eye sight
  • Help with medical expenses
  • Help with travel expenses
  • Support with your loss of earnings if your eye sight has been considerably damaged

To begin your eye or ophthalmic  injury compensation claim it is advisable to contact a legal firm who specialises in eye injury claims and has successfully obtained compensation for its clients.

The following details should be prepared in support of your claims enquiry:

  1. The nature of your medical condition or eye treatment required
  2. The date of the surgery and the facility
  3. How the procedure / treatment was explained to you
  4. Details of the pain, discomfort or sight disorder

 

Medical Negligence and Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery

In Refractive lens exchange (RLE) surgery, the eye’s natural lens is removed during the surgery, and replaced with a synthetic lens.

If the procedure was carried our negligently by your surgeon and / or  you received a defective or faulty eye lens, compensation could be available.

In order to claim compensation for negligent refractive lens exchange surgery, contact Devonshires Claims medical negligence experts today.

Could I obtain compensation for a faulty or defective Oculentis eye lens?

In  2014 and 2017, multinational pharmaceutical company, Oculentis issued field safety notices and recalled its intraocular lens product known as the LENTIS HydroSmart intraocular lens. Devonshires are working with an increasing number of patients who were fitted with this Oculentis faulty lens and as a consequence are now suffering problems with their vision.

If you had lens replacement surgery and received an Oculentis lens, which has become faulty you could be entitled to claim compensation. For further information on making an Ocutlentis compensation claim please click here.

 

Can I make an eye injury compensation claim on a no-win no fee bases?

Devonshires’ medical negligence solicitors offer you:

  • Free case evaluation
  • Representation to you on a no win no fee basis
  • No fees to pay if you lose your case
  • The expertise of an established firm who has successfully obtained thousands of pounds in compensation for victims of ophthalmic negligence.

Why choose Devonshires’ Claims Eye Injury Compensation Experts

Devonshires’ eye claims experts have successfully helped clients throughout the UK and Ireland obtain compensation for their eye injury. Whilst we work on all clinical negligence cases, we also specialise in claims in the ophthalmic industry; we consider ourselves to be market leaders  in dealing with eye injury claims.

We have previously represented clients who have:

  • Been fitted with faulty intraocular lenses
  • Been misinformed as to the true risks of lens replacement/laser eye surgery
  • Experienced complications following cataract surgery
  • Had an eye infection, experienced blurry vision or loss of sight following a medical procedure
  • Suffered eyesight problems following a delay in being referred for medical assessment

Our trusted legal advisers have successfully pursued compensation for individuals across the UK, including winning a landmark case against Optical Express where damages recovered were over £550,000.

 

What compensation could you receive for negligent eye surgery or treatment?

In England & Wales, damages are based on guidelines set by Judges. These are known as the JC Guidelines. Examples of General Damages in Opthalmic cases are:

Injuries Affecting Sight Damages with 10% uplift
(a) Total Blindness and Deafness
Such cases must be considered as ranking with the most devastating injuries.
In the region of £322,060 In the region of £354,260
(b) Total Blindness In the region of £214,210 In the region of £235,630
(c) Loss of Sight in One Eye with Reduced Vision in the Remaining Eye
(i) Where there is serious risk of further deterioration in the remaining eye, going beyond some risk of sympathetic ophthalmia
£76,510 to £143,270 £84,160 to £157,600
(ii) Where there is reduced vision in the remaining eye and/or additional problems such as double vision
£50,970 to £84,510 £56,070 to £92,960
(d) Total Loss of One Eye
The level of the award within the bracket will depend on age, psychiatric consequences and cosmetic effect.
£43,710 to £52,360 £48,080 to £57,590
(e) Complete Loss of Sight in One Eye
This award takes account of some risk of sympathetic ophthalmia. The upper end of the bracket is appropriate where there is scarring in the region of the eye which is not sufficiently serious to merit a separate award.
£39,270 to £43,710 £43,200 to £48,080
(f) Cases of serious but incomplete loss of vision in one eye without significant risk of loss or reduction of vision in the remaining eye, or where there is constant double vision. A case of constant blurred vision and sensitivity to light in both eyes requiring constant wearing of dark glasses would be at the top of the bracket. £18,880 to £31,320 £20,760 to £34,460
(g) Minor but permanent impairment of vision in one or both eyes, including cases where there is some double vision, which may not be constant, and cases of permanent sensitivity to bright light but not sufficient to require constant wearing of dark glasses. £7,270 to £16,720 £7,990 to £18,390
(h) Minor Eye Injuries
In this bracket fall cases of minor injuries, such as being struck in the eye, exposure to fumes including smoke, or being splashed by liquids, causing initial pain and some temporary interference with vision.
£3,150 to £6,960 £3,460 to £7,650
(i) Transient Eye Injuries
In these cases the injured person will have recovered completely within a few weeks.
£1,760 to £3,150 £1,930 to £3,460

Note: Damages for loss of sight in one eye are likely to be awarded on a provisional basis to allow for the risk of deterioration or loss of sight in the remaining eye.

Contact our eye injury medical negligence solicitors today

Devonshires’ compensation experts have helped (or are helping) over 100 clients throughout the UK and Ireland obtain compensation for their eye injury on a no win no fee basis. Our Clinical Negligence Department is a leading team in the United Kingdom for claims relating to the eye and the Ophthalmic Industry and our successes have been featured in the national press. Call us today on 0333 577 9444 or email cn@devonshires.co.uk for a free case evaluation.