The Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team has settled a claim against Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust for a three year old girl who suffered an eye injury while being treated for a laceration which resulted in the need for surgery.

The child suffered a small cut to the side of her eye and attended the emergency department with her mother for treatment. The doctor made a decision to glue the wound but omitted to cover the eye or apply any barriers around it. The glue ran into her eye causing considerable pain. The doctor attempted to flush the eye and checked for any glue in the eye itself but he did not find any on examination. She was discharged.

Two days later, our client attended hospital to see a maxillo-facial surgeon who found that her eyelids were glued together and the laceration wound was gaping. She underwent emergency surgery under general anaesthetic to remove the glue, open her eyelids, check for any corneal abrasion, and suture the laceration.

Penningtons Manches submitted a letter of claim on the basis of expert evidence, alleging that there was a breach of duty of care by the doctor in the emergency department for failing to appropriately close the wound and to take precautionary measures to guard against the risk of the glue entering our client’s eye. Our client underwent an unnecessary operation at a very young age, which was distressing for her and her mother. Fortunately, there was no long-term impact of the negligence and she has made a good recovery.

The claim was subsequently admitted by the trust and the matter settled after an exchange of offers to settle.