Some jobs require workers to wear eye protection. Unfortunately, despite the best safety gear eye injuries still happen.
Recently we resolved a case for a client in the aerospace industry. He was inspecting equipment when a piece of metal shattered. A small piece of debris went under his safety glasses and into his left eye. He was driven to the local urgent care.
After a short examination the urgent care doctor diagnosed the injury as an “abrasion to the cornea” and sent the man home with instructions to come back to the urgent care in two days for a follow up. Two days later the man returned. By this time he had developed an infection in his eye called endophthalmitis. This infection was so severe his eye had to be removed. This never had to happen. But it did. Here’s why.
Doctors Need To Practice in Their Area Of Expertise
The urgent care doctor was not board certified in emergency medicine. If he was, he probably would have known to use a slit lamp during his examination and to take an intraocular (eye) pressure. Had he done those two things he would have realized that the patient did not have a corneal abrasion but had a LACERATED CORNEA.
Make Sure You Get To A Specialist
The laceration, if detected at the initial examination, would have resulted in an immediate referral to an ophthalmologist (eye doctor). The ophthalmologist would have performed the proper tests. The ophthalmologist would have then done a lensectomy, vitrectomy, and then given intravitreal antibiotics and patient would have healed and returned to his job and been able to provide for his family.
This Could Have Been Avoided
In this case the patient did everything correctly. He wore eye protection. Once he was injured he immediately went to the urgent care. He followed the doctor’s instructions. As a result he lost his eye which caused him to lose depth perception. Depth perception was a requirement for his highly skilled job in the aerospace industry. Fortunately, we were able to prove that tragedy here could have been avoided but despite the financial recovery our client must live with the knowledge that this never had to happen.
You Need A Lawyer Who Understands
If you or a loved one has gone through something similar to this we may be able to help. Please contact our firm and we will review your case at no charge.