Penningtons Manches’ clinical negligence team has noticed a steep increase in the number of enquiries and instructions from patients who have suffered a delay in the management of their wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD).
Wet AMD is an eye condition that develops when abnormal blood vessels grow into the central part of the retina, called the macula. These blood vessels leak blood or fluid which causes scarring of the macula.
The macula is responsible for the majority of our central sight and allows us to see fine detail. Damage and scarring to the macula can, therefore, have quite a devastating effect and if the condition is allowed to progress without treatment can lead to a complete loss of central vision. Wet AMD can develop very suddenly but it can be treated with injections into the eye if it is caught early enough. Treatment will not restore eyesight that has been lost, but it can halt the condition from progressing further and preserve the patient’s residual eyesight.
Arran Macleod, an associate in the clinical negligence team specialising in ophthalmic claims, comments: “Wet AMD is a condition that, once detected, requires urgent management. Best outcomes are associated with prompt treatment and, as the condition can progress quickly and lead to rapid deterioration, specialist care at an early stage is essential. Any delays in managing the condition can lead to injuries to patients’ eyesight, which can leave them without any central vision at all.
“It is worrying that the press has recently reported a significant increase in the number of negligence cases concerning delays in diagnosis and treatment of diseases, but this does correlate with the instructions that we are receiving at the moment, which tend to reflect patients’ concerns about delays they are experiencing in their treatment.
“We act for many people who have waited an unacceptable length of time before being treated for wet AMD and understand the impact of loss of vision on them and their everyday lives. If you or a family member have concerns over the management of your wet AMD, please do get in touch as our specialist ophthalmology team may be able to help.”