17.12.2010

Nurses "failed to spot eye condition"

Nurses "failed to spot eye condition"

By Alexa Kaczka

Concerns have been raised about the suitability of nurses to examine patients with eye conditions after a woman was left almost blind in one eye.

Worcestershire woman Claire Holmes, 24, visited the minor injuries unit at Kidderminster hospital twice in 2008 with corneal ulcer but each time was given ointment rather than referred to a specialist, the BBC reports.

By the time she consulted an ophthalmologist, Ms Holmes had gone 95 per cent blind in one eye, said Paul Chell, the clinical director of ophthalmology at Kidderminster General Hospital.

In an email seen by the BBC, Mr Chell voiced concerns to the hospital's chief executive about the suitability of nurses to examine patients with "complex" eye conditions beyond their skill sets.

"This had come on top of another risk from another nurse the week before where completely inappropriate decisions had been made on one of my cornea transplant patients," the email said.

Recently, a study published by the University of Liverpool said it is "vitally important" that people who have suffered a stroke are monitored for any changes in their vision, as this can severely affect their rehabilitation.

by Martin Burns


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