Ala, a 22 year old woman who wears contact lenses, attended her GP in September 2005 with a pain in her left eye, which was also discharging pus. She had left her contact lenses in overnight. She was prescribed antibiotic drops but her condition worsened, even though she regularly attended Moorfields Eye Hospital.
The treating doctors diagnosed a bacterial infection and continued the prescription of antibiotic drops and steroids. Notwithstanding the antibiotics, the infection in Ala’s eye worsened. She was in pain and her sight was failing. At the first Moorfields appointment, the discharge from her eye tested positive for an acanthamoebaacanthamoeba infection which is not sensitive to antibiotics.
This report was not acted upon. She should have been treated with antiacanthamoeba therapy. She was not.
The wrong treatment continued for two months.
Eventually a second microbiological test (performed because no improvement was being made) identified the correct cause of the infection and the correct treatment started. Sadly, it was too late and Ala is now partially blind in her left eye.
Paul McNeil was instructed to take a claim on behalf of Ala. He obtained medical evidence and asserted that her injuries were as a result of the failure of medical staff at Moorfields to treat her appropriately and in a timely manner. The case settled for £25,000 in May 2009.
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