Loss of Vision in a 75-Year-Old Because of Healthcare Negligence

loss of vision

A patient went partially blind after the doctors missed his stroke. The 75-year-old man said that the experience changed him from a social and outgoing person to a person living in fear. The reason was the negligence of healthcare workers.

He visited the GP with a complaint of dizziness, numbness in one of his feet, and dizziness. He had suffered a stroke and should have been taken to the hospital immediately. But the doctors missed the signs and made a diagnosis of “dropped foot”, requesting an MRI. Moreover, because of an administrative error, the referral and scan did not happen.

A month after the visit to the GP, the man developed a building headache, and his vision diminished. He went to an ophthalmologist, who gave him a specialist’s referral.

The man had suffered another stroke, and his private scans also confirmed that he had his first stroke a month earlier.

Loss of Vision

The man lost his vision in the right eye, which, although it could have been permanent, returned after eight weeks. His daughter described the experience as “horrendous” and launched a complaint to the PHSO (Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman).

His daughter said,

We were very lucky that he did get his sight back, but at the time we did not know that was going to happen. We went through all the emotions. When you’re looking after someone who’s suffering badly and you find out that they didn’t have to go through that, it makes you really angry.

She further added,

The impact on his life has been unreal. He has ‘brain fog’, he doesn’t go out or drive anymore, he feels dizzy a lot and uses a walking stick. It’s heart-breaking to see.

According to PHSO, the initial symptoms were problems with the nerve, brain function, and spinal cord. And the doctors should have suspected a stroke right away, sending him to the hospital. Doing that would have avoided the stroke and loss of vision.

Ombudsman said,

Having a stroke and then being told you could be permanently blind must have been incredibly frightening. The impact on the man, and his family who supported him through the ordeal, will have been deep and long-lasting. Mistakes like these need to be recognised and acted upon so that they are not repeated.

GP surgery apologized for the negligence and assured improvements will be made to prevent this in the future.

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Dr. Armash Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor's degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is skilled in general dentistry and is an experienced medical content writer. She also works as a Science Instructor for Little Medical School, which is a STEM-based learning program for kids. Her future plans are to work for the betterment of dentistry for the underprivileged in Pakistan, apply for postgraduation, and specialize in Paediatric Dentistry.


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