Settlement obtained for Suffolk man who suffered avoidable vision loss

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Julie Crossley, a medical negligence specialist at Ashtons Legal, has obtained a five-figure settlement for Mr N, a man who suffered vision loss as a result of a hospital’s failure to appropriately monitor him.

Mr N was receiving treatment for rheumatoid arthritis at the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds. As part of his treatment he was prescribed hydroxychloroquine, a medication that is used to treat several autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Patients who take this medication for more than five years are at an increased risk of suffering permanent loss of vision and should have their eyes tested annually to detect any early signs of retinal damage.

Mr N did not have his eyes tested until he began to lose vision in both eyes and was struggling to drive or carry out other daily activities. With the correct monitoring the damage to his retinas would have been recognised before his vision was adversely affected.

Julie Crossley comments: “Mr N should have been closely monitored so that any visual changes would have been noted at the earliest opportunity and the medication could have been immediately stopped. Due to the absence of regular eye tests he continued to take this medication and as a result has been left with permanent ocular damage.

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