If you’ve been a victim of ophthalmology negligence and suffered an injury then it is likely you could make a ophthalmology negligence claim for compensation.
Ophthalmology is a medical specialty that is related to the health of the eye. All eye related problems are taken care of by an ophthalmologist, a doctor that specialises in surgical and medical eye problems.
Ocular conditions affect people from all age groups. Many of these are age-related but there are several others that are congenital or may affect a younger person because of an injury or some other health problem. Cataract surgery is the most common ophthalmic procedure that affects people after the age of 65 years, while elective refractive surgery is more common in younger patients of 40-50 years.
When Is Ophthalmology Surgery Carried Out?
An ophthalmologist may decide to perform surgery on the whole eye or any part of the eye if there are no non-surgical corrective options available. Some of the more common conditions when surgery is performed are to repair retinal defects, correct vision irregularities, restore the muscles in the eye and treat cataracts, glaucoma, wet macular degeneration, and cancers. A delay in getting the necessary ophthalmology surgery to treat eye-related problems could result in impaired or lost vision.
Ophthalmology Pre-op Testing Procedures
Before proceeding with any invasive ophthalmic procedure, the ophthalmologist will first perform a series of tests to determine the extent of the problem and to explore alternative non-invasive treatments.
First, the ophthalmologist will record your medical history, taking details about any allergies or any other contraindications. The practitioner will then proceed to check your eyes thoroughly through a series of advanced tests. The exact tests that are done will depend on your symptoms and the proposed surgery.
A fundus exam may be carried out to check for retinal holes and macular degeneration and disease. Corneal mapping and a slit lamp exam are other ways to check if there is any damage to the cornea and to determine the presence of a cataract or glaucoma. A keratometer reading may be taken to understand the curvature of the central part of the cornea.
Other, more complex tests may be conducted depending on the doctor’s findings.
Different Types Of Ophthalmic Surgeries
There are different types of ophthalmic surgeries. The ophthalmologist will decide which surgery to perform depending on the condition that needs to be treated or corrected.
During a refractive surgery, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea. As with any laser surgery, there are no stitches involved and the entire procedure is completed within minutes.
This surgery is commonly carried out to address certain forms of wet age related macular degeneration. In this procedure, the abnormal blood vessels are burned to stop them from leaking and to stop disease from progressing.
Cataracts can affect one or both eyes, and are more common in adults aged 60 years and above. It is a relatively safe surgery and requires minimal sedation. In place of the original lens, an artificial lens is placed so that vision is restored.
This surgery involves using a laser to make an opening in the iris or to open the drainage canals to facilitate the aqueous flow. When treating glaucoma, this is carried out to minimise intraocular pressure.
Orbital surgery is typically performed on people with congenital defects that result in large eye tumours, or when the eye cannot be preserved due to trauma.
What Can Go Wrong With Ophthalmology Surgery
The eye is a very delicate organ that requires utmost care at all times. The good news is, most ophthalmology surgeons in the UK are highly skilled and trained. If you suffer from any eye problems, you should be in good hands.
Sometimes however, things do go wrong. If your vision gets further impaired because of ophthalmology negligence, it may be considered medical negligence.
Here are some of the things that can go wrong when you see an ophthalmologist:
- Delay in diagnosis of an eye infection, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.
- Misdiagnosis and failure to treat eye infection, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.
- Mistreatment of corneal abrasions.
- Negligent cataract surgery.
- Negligent retinal detachment surgery.
- Negligent eye laser treatment
- Failure to obtain medical history, allergy details or pre-operative consent.
- Failure to inform the patient of the risks of the procedure.
If your vision is temporarily or permanently damaged due to any of the above reasons, you may have a right to claim compensation for ophthalmology negligence.
How Much Compensation For Ophthalmology Negligence
The amount of compensation you are entitled to for ophthalmology negligence will depend on several factors. The severity of your eye injuries and the impact it has on your quality of life are major factors along with your pain and suffering.
Loss of income because of your inability to get back to work either temporarily or permanently will also factored into the compensation that is awarded to you. When considering loss of income, loss of perks, bonuses and promotional opportunities are also calculated.
If your vision impairment is so severe that you require assistive devices to carry out your everyday chores in or out of the house, those expenses will also be awarded to you.
You are also entitled to be covered for all expenses related to your medical treatment, from the hospital and doctor’s fees to the cost of medication and traveling.
How To Claim Compensation For Ophthalmic Surgery Negligence
Proving medical negligence and getting the entire recompense that is due to you can be very difficult and unless you are familiar with personal injury law, it is advisable to contact an experienced personal injury solicitor to fight your ophthalmology negligence case for you.
The best way to go about this is to take advantage of the first free consultation that ourselves and many other personal injury solicitors offer. During this consultation, our solicitor will discuss what has occurred and if they feel you indeed have a good case to claim, will request any evidence you might have including medical records.
If you have a solid case, our solicitor will help you further by agreeing to file a ophthalmology negligence compensation claim on your behalf on the basis of a No Win No Fee agreement. This agreement exempts you from having to pay any legal fees at the outset or at any time while your ophthalmology negligence claim is in progress. You only pay the fees after the court rules in your favour. This fee will be a set percentage of the total amount you are awarded.