Delayed treatment of tumour leaves woman partially blind

Top ten issues to consider at (liability) judgment

Boyes Turner’s medical negligence specialists have secured an admission of liability for a young woman after hospital delays in diagnosis and removal of a non-malignant tumour left her virtually blind in her left eye.

The claimant had been referred urgently to the defendant hospital by a high street optician after she experienced blurred vision and was found to have a pale left optic disc and diminished visual acuity. She attended the hospital the same day where a provisional diagnosis of atypical optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve) was made. The claimant was told that there was also a differential (possible alternative) diagnosis of a tumour. An MRI scan was requested and took place two weeks later. The scan report was faxed to the hospital a week later and confirmed that there was a compression lesion (something pressing) on the left optic nerve compatible with a cavernous haemangioma (slow growing non-malignant tumour).

Over the next 6 and half months the claimant’s vision continued to deteriorate whilst multiple opportunities to preserve her vision were missed. During this time she was left waiting for further scans, received methyl-prednisolone treatment which was inappropriate as it does not shrink solid tumours, and had her scheduled surgery cancelled. After she finally underwent surgery to remove the tumour and relieve the pressure on the optic nerve her vision in the left eye was permanently restricted to hand movements only.

She was left with cosmetic disfigurement - she now has a drooping left eye and severe muscle damage causing a severe squint and poor movement of the eye. She needs botox injections and may need further surgery to adjust the abnormal position of her eye and cosmetic appearance. Her ability to drive and to work at a computer have been affected, although she has been able to return to work, and she has suffered a psychological injury.

Boyes Turner put our client’s claim to the defendant hospital, which admitted that their negligent failure had led to a six-month delay in the claimant’s treatment for her cavernous haemangioma. There remained a possibility that our client might have been left with some loss of vision even with timely treatment, owing to the tumour’s difficult location. The case settled at £36,000.

Client testimonial:

“Thank you very much to Boyes Turner who were exceptionally professional and helpful with my claim…Will definitely be recommending you to family and friends.”

If you or someone you know have been disabled as a result of negligent medical care, contact us on 0118 952 7219 or email us on mednegclaims@boyesturner.com.

The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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