What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a common eye condition in which the optic nerve becomes damaged. Early
diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent vision loss.
Giant cell arteritis (GCA)
The most serious complication of GCA is irreversible vision loss due to optic nerve ischaemia and
therefore early recognition and treatment are essential.
Compensation received for avoidable loss of vision
Mrs X pursued a claim for damages against a hospital Trust for their failures in ensuring her illness was appropriately and timely investigated and treated as a result of which she suffered complications which left her completely blind.
Having been admitted to hospital with a history of a long-standing illness, weight loss and blood abnormalities, doctors failed to diagnose that she was suffering from a chronic inflammatory condition which required further investigation and should have led to her diagnosis and treatment of Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA). As a result, she was discharged without appropriate and timely follow-up being arranged and four weeks later suffered complications with her vision. Despite admission to hospital and appropriate treatment, it was too late to save her sight and she was left blind in both eyes. This was a devastating and avoidable outcome for Mrs X, and she received a six-figure settlement for the poor medical care she received.
Woman succeeds in claim for unexpected death of her husband from sepsis
This case concerned the tragic and unexpected death of the Claimant’s husband, Mr M, who had presented to the emergency department with a high temperature and tachycardia. Although there was a differential diagnosis of sepsis, the illness was initially thought to be viral and a plan was made to administer steroids, as Mr M had an underlying autoimmune condition and there was no obvious source of sepsis. This plan was endorsed when he was transferred to the ward. Later that evening he had an episode of diarrhoea and a urine dipstick test was also positive for possible infection.
Despite this and further diarrhoea, and general deterioration in his condition overnight, no referral for additional medical review was made.
At consultant review the following morning, antibiotics were prescribed but, unfortunately, due to communication issues, there was a further three hour delay in administering these. Ten minutes after the first dose, Mr M suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of sepsis and died.
Group A Streptococcus was identified in his blood culture.
An investigation into Mr M’s death concluded that there had been a failure to recognise the deterioration and a failure to follow the sepsis screening tool. The diarrhoea, positive urine dipstick and deterioration in his condition should have been recognised as signs of infection which should have prompted administration of intravenous antibiotics, which would have saved Mr M’s life. The case settled for a six-figure sum.
Denise Deakin was instructed in this matter. She said “It is extremely sad that, but for relatively simple and timely treatment, Mr M would have still been alive.”
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