Hospital breach of infection control procedures and policies

We have been acting for a delightful elderly lady (now aged 82) who was unhappy with medical treatment which she received at Great Western Hospital in Swindon during October 2014.

Briefly, she suffers from age related macular degeneration.  In October 2014, she received an intravitreal injection of Lucentis into her left eye as part of her treatment for macular degeneration. The consent forms for the procedure did not mention the risk of eye infection.  She received no leaflet or other information from the hospital concerning the aftermath of her eye injection, other than a printout listing the medication issued.

Two days later, our client awoke with severe left sided headache and eye pain.  She did not suspect that her eye injection was the cause of her symptoms. She took analgesia for her headache. The headache persisted and worsened over the weekend and she then attended her GP who then referred to the eye department at the Great Western Hospital as an emergency.  She was diagnosed with a post injection endophthalmitis, with a Staphylococcus infection of her left eye.

A route cause analysis was carried out by hospital into our client’s eye infection and it identified a number of deficiencies in aseptic technique used for the procedure including:

  • Poor hand hygiene
  • A non-sterile technique being employed for the preparation of needles and syringes;
  • Inadequate preparation of the patient’s skin with iodine

It was our client’s case that the hospital had failed to provide an acceptable and reasonable standard of care and adequate information to our client concerning the risks of an eye infection and the need to contact the hospital in any event if such symptoms developed.

Unfortunately, she has lost most of the vision in her left eye.  The vision in her remaining good eye was poor so she is now very dependent upon care.  Our case on causation was complicated as she probably would have suffered restricted vision in her good eye in any event as she got older due to her underlying eye condition.

A letter of claim was sent on her behalf to the Hospital Trust.  They initially denied liability arguing that even though there had been a breach of their Infection Control Policies specific to our client’s treatment, they maintained that she should have returned to the hospital promptly following the onset of her eye symptoms and if she had done so, then her good vision would have been maintained.  This was disputed by us.

Proceedings had to be issued at Court and shortly after solicitors were appointed by the Trust, the parties were able to agree a settlement which our client was very happy with.

S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £85,000.00 for this client during 2018

2018-09-12T13:48:22+00:00