This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Clinical Negligence team who have successfully secured £100,000 for a partially sighted client who developed almost complete blindness as a result of a psychological reaction caused by the negligence of the hospital Trust.
This rather unique case involved a relatively elderly patient who suffered a nasty fall while in the care of a Kent hospital, following which she suffered an extreme psychological reaction which had the unfortunate affect of leaving her almost completely blind. The patient in this case was left unattended in a shower after undergoing major surgery. She was very unsteady in her feet and our independent nursing experts confirmed that she should have been monitored at all times by nursing staff. Unfortunately, she got into difficulties while on her own and fell heavily to the floor banging her head.
She suffered a laceration to the skull which was dressed. Shortly afterwards she was diagnosed with a fourth nerve or superior palsy. This is an injury to the fourth nerve and is a relatively common injury which can cause double vision and other visual problems, especially when looking downwards.
The patient began to suffer from increasing episodes of double vision and she found this extremely distressing. Gradually, these symptoms worsened until she became almost completely blind in one eye and with only very blurry vision remaining in her other eye.
Once the case was underway, we arranged for the patient to be examined by highly qualified ophthalmic clinicians and neurologists. There is a consensus of opinion that there was in fact no physical cause of patient's blindness but unfortunately she had suffered from a severe conversion disorder otherwise known as 'non-organic visual loss' (formerly known as hysterical blindness). This type of reaction is not an entirely uncommon consequence of a head injury.
As a result of her condition the patient was registered as severely sight impaired.
We successfully secured compensation of £100,000 for the patient in this case which is hoped will help her to employ a carer to assist her with the various day to day tasks that we all take for granted.
James Cahan specialises in ophthalmic negligence cases. If you would like to ask
James a question about a potential case involving an ophthalmology or you have a general query about medical negligence contact James on 01892 701289 in confidence.
We have one of the largest and most experienced specialist medical negligence teams in Southern England including London. Our team of highly experienced lawyers has the depth and range of expertise essential in this sensitive and often complex area of law. Our clinical negligence team is very proud to be ranked Number 1 in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners UK.