Saturday 1 October 2016

HSE apologies to bar manager who ended up blind after optic nerve was cut in 'routine operation'

Published 03/11/2015 | 17:31

Eoin White, of The Walk, Carrigaline, Co. Cork, with his wife, Sarah, leaving court after he settled his High Court action against the HSE. PIC: COURTPIX
Eoin White, of The Walk, Carrigaline, Co. Cork, with his wife, Sarah, leaving court after he settled his High Court action against the HSE. PIC: COURTPIX

The HSE has apologised to a man who went to hospital for a routine operation but ended up blind after his optic nerve was cut.

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The apology was ready out in the High Court as part of the settlement of bar manager Eoin White's action over the gland operation at the base of his brain in October 2012 at Cork University Hospital which has left him legally blind.

Mr White, a 32-year-old father of two, from The Walk, Heron's Wood, Carrigaline, Co Cork,  has no vision in his left eye and only a small amount of vision in his right eye.

Senior Counsel for the HSE, Emily Egan, read out an apology from the CEO of Cork University Hospital  JA McNamara.

It stated the hospital wished "to express our sincere unreserved apology for the failings in care and for the serious injuries that they caused.

"We deeply regret the distress and trauma suffered by you and  your family as a result of the loss to your vision."

Liam Reidy SC, for Mr White, announcing the settlement, told the court that during the operation on the pituitary gland, the optic nerve which was "the junction box of the eyes" was dissected and this had left him legally blind.

In a statement after court, Mr White, who was in court with his wife Sarah, said he went in to the hospital for a routine operation on his pituitary gland and when he woke up afterwards he could not see.

He said the surgeon who carried out the operation, and who no longer works at Cork University Hospital, later told him he had cut his optic nerve.

Mr White sued the HSE as a result of the operation on October 12, 2012.

He had been advised he required surgery to remove a lesion on the pituitary gland.

Liability was admitted in the case which was before the court for assessment of damages only.

It was claimed the surgery was performed in a negligent manner and there was a failure to promptly inform Mr White of what happened and why.

Upon waking, it was claimed, Mr White  immediately complained of a loss of vision in his left eye and blurred vision in his right eye. He had a second surgical procedure but it was unsuccessful.

Mr White suffered a permanent injury and a gross disruption of his life as a result of what happened, it was claimed.

He also had to have further surgery in November 2012 to remove the lesion from the pituitary gland which had not been removed in the first operation.

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