What are you looking for?

22 October 2022 | Case Study | Article by Lesley Herbertson

Thousands in compensation after man given wrong eye drops


Adam was left with reduced vision and corneal ulcer after he was prescribed certain eye medication. Adam had suffered with dry eye syndrome for a number of years and regularly used liquid eye drops.

Working as a self-employed interior wall fitter, however, his eyesight was always good. His GP diagnosed conjunctivitis in both eyes and Adam was prescribed eye drops which contained preservatives.

After taking the eye drops, Adam started to notice sensitivity to light and his eyesight deteriorating.

One day, the vision in Adam’s right eye completely disappeared and so he went to A&E where they diagnosed a corneal ulcer and he was prescribed further eye drops containing preservatives.

Adam was seen at hospital twice a week for four weeks whilst using the prescribed eye drops every hour during the day.

He was eventually seen at a specialist eye hospital where they advised he immediately stop using the eye drops which had been prescribed to him.

Adam was then given preservative-free drops which were administered in sterile conditions during the day and night as well as oral antibiotics.

However, the damage from the previous eye drops had already been done and he underwent a bilateral amniotic membrane transplant under general anaesthetic a few weeks later.

As a result of the negligent treatment that Adam received, in terms of being prescribed eye drops that contained preservatives, he suffered additional and unnecessary pain and discomfort in both eyes for a period of seven weeks.

He is also experienced a period of reduced vision in both eyes for about one month as well as an unnecessary amniotic membrane transplant to the left eye. Adam was also unable to return to work for about seven months and suffered a consequent loss of earnings.

If Adam had been referred to the specialist eye hospital at the earliest possible stage, then his eyesight would not have deteriorated in the way that it did due to the prescribed eye drops which aggravated the irritation of the corneas of both eyes, causing additional problems for him.

Hugh James was successful in achieving a settlement figure of £27,500 for Adam in respect of his prolonged recovery, pain and suffering and loss of earnings.

Lesley Herbertson, Partner at Hugh James, acted on Adam’s behalf and said:

Adam had serious eye and sight problems which were always going to cause him problems in any event. The challenge in this case was to unravel that part of his damage and losses which could be attributed to the identified negligence.

We had the benefit of very helpful input from an experienced Consultant Opthalmologist and the Defendant Trust were very sensible in dealing with matters.

The names and identifying details of the client have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals involved.

Author bio

Lesley Herbertson is a Partner at Hugh James and a leading medical negligence solicitor with over 30 years’ experience in dealing with catastrophic and serious injury medical negligence cases.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

Contact one of our experts

Fill in the form and one of our experts will get in touch with you shortly.