01482 778 463

We're here to help 01482 778 463

CLAIM ONLINE
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Case Stories | Hospital Trust pays £230,000 damages after patient loses sight when taking drug known to cause loss of vision

Hospital Trust pays £230,000 damages after patient loses sight when taking drug known to cause loss of vision

medication


A hospital Trust has agreed a compensation settlement of £230,000 to a 77-year-old patient who lost almost all of his sight after doctors failed to take him off medication known to cause loss of vision as a side effect.

The patient, who had been placed on the medication to tackle a serious lung infection, contacted the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital where he was being treated after his vison become blurred driving home from a holiday with his wife.

However, the man, of Christchurch, Dorset, was told over the phone to continue taking his Ethambutol medication, without speaking directly to a consultant.

When the patient, a former cross-channel ferry boatswain, attended at his GP surgery two weeks later, he was immediately referred to the Acute Eye Unit at Bournemouth Hospital, with the medication stopped.

By that time his sight had almost completely lost, and although some of his vision initially retuned after stopping taking the medication, medical experts consulted as part of a legal claim against Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust say it has effectively left him completely blind.

The retired patient, who still enjoyed going out to sea on his own boat and regularly went fishing before the loss of his sight, says his trust of doctors and the health service has changed due to his treatment and the impact on his life.

I was brought up in an age where you were told never to question the doctors, but my views on that have certainly changed now.

I had no idea that this medication was going to send me blind, who on earth would keep on taking medication if they thought this was going to happen to them?

I can remember when I was driving home from a holiday in North Somerset with my wife and I was struggling to read the road signs as my vision was really blurred. When we got home I gave my wife the car keys, and I have never driven again since.

We called the hospital and were told it was nothing to do with the medication and that it was ok to keep on taking them. I didn’t get to speak to a consultant. When I went to the doctors two weeks later I couldn’t see at all as it had continued to get worse.

The patient said he was not aware of the possible side effects of the drug, although this is something the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust denied, claiming he had been given a ‘standard patient information leaflet’ when his medication started, and also been talked through possible complications.

The Trust did however admit there had been failures in that firstly in that it should have referred the patient to see a specialist when he called raising concerns over deteriorating vision. The Trust admitted that had it done so, he would have been seen within 24-48 hours, rather than waiting two weeks. It also admitted that this delay had caused deterioration of his eyesight.

It agreed to a damages settlement of £230,000 in recognition of the suffering caused, the future impact on the man’s quality of life, and to cover costs for future care and aids and equipment required.

In a written apology, chief executive Angela Pedder said that all future patients taking Ethambutol and experiencing side effects will have direct conversations with consultants as soon as possible. She added that a ‘lower threshold’ was also being introduced to ensure patients had an urgent review to stop taking the medication, should they experience side effects.

Solicitor Nasreen Khan, of medical negligence specialists Hudgell Solicitors, represented the patient in the legal case, and said there had been clear failings which had been life-changing for both her client and his wife.

An independent consultant ophthalmologist consulted as part of the case said that as Ethambutol is a drug with a known risk of vision deterioration if it continues to be taken, it should be stopped as soon as there is any indication of sight being affected.

He rated our client’s vision quality as only 3 out of 10 as a result of this, and had he been stopped from taking the medication when his sight problems were first highlighted, his conclusion was that he would have only suffered minor sight loss in both eyes, and would not have had the day-to-day problems he now suffers.

The patient, who asked not to be named, added: “I now rely on my wife for everything. She has to help me in all aspects of day to day life, from arranging my clothes to helping me get showered.

I used to drive us to Spain on holidays but obviously that had to stop. I also used to sail my boat and regularly go fishing, but I can’t see to rig a fishing line now. It has had a massive impact on our lives.

All I have is a bit of peripheral vision in my right eye. The mistakes of doctors have left me effectively blind. In hindsight, I wish I’d asked more questions at the start, and when my sight became blurred.

I didn’t know the dangers of taking the drug. If I had my time again I would have asked more questions and probably not accepted it. It is too late for me now but hopefully what happened to be will be a warning to others.

The patient’s wife said they’d had excellent support from Hudgell Solicitors throughout the case, which was settled in October 2016, more than three years after her husband lost his sight.

Nasreen Khan has been wonderful.

It has been a difficult time for me and my husband but she has been really caring and supportive at all times. We can’t thank her enough for the support she has given us.

The Author

author image

Nasreen Khan

Solicitor - Clinical Negligence, Leeds

nk@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request a callback from a solicitor

 I am an existing client.









What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great help with an extra bit of nagging …

"Great help with an extra bit of nagging from myself! They got the best for… "

Miss Chloe Knapton

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hiya you work real good for me I'm …

"Hiya you work real good for me I'm happy for you do for me and… "

Ms Anne Ollier

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. I have been kept informed every step of the way. When I have… "

maggie ackroyd

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service, the Solicitor kept me informed on all progress with regular phone calls and… "

Miss Rebecca Shaw

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Would 100% recommend and use again

"Whilst having to deal with a difficult company who was denying I ever worked for… "

Danny Morfitt

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Fantastic service from beginning to …

"Fantastic service from beginning to end. Cant really say much more than that."

Craig

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

My case

"I have always found your service very good,always up to date with what was going… "

Miss Julie johnson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great service

"Great service, friendly and hard working staff"

Mr Mohamed Jaouadi

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent customer care

"Once my claim was accepted I was kept informed throughout the negotiating process very professional… "

Mr Terence John Casey

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent Company

"Fast, friendly and honest service. Could not be happier with how my claim was handled… "

Miss Stacie King

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very prompt along every step of the way

"Very prompt along every step of the way"

Miss Rachel Victoria Joseph

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Regular updates on my case and felt they had my best interests in… "

Mr Paul Hewson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell's have been very sensitive and …

"Hudgell's have been very sensitive and thorough with their support of me in my case.… "

Mrs Lisa Russell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

excellent

"made my claim so easy and straight forward kept me updated and organised everything thank… "

Miss Sian Clarke

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Highly Recommend

"Cannot recommend enough. Informative all the way through and always honest. Never a problem to… "

Miss P

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent I would recommend to anyone

"Excellent ,Very happy with the out come ,will use this company again."

Mr Darren Paul Greaves

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent friendly service

"I always felt Samantha was working for me, all my questions were answered in a… "

Tony Squires

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy

"My case was dealt with very well and I was kept upto date with everything… "

Mr Glen Harrison

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Medical Negligence Claim

"My claim was initially lodged with a firm of solicitors but was later transferred to… "

Mr. Shepherd

Rated 9.2 out of 10 based on 291 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

© 2017 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90