A family from Louth were left distraught when their two-year-old daughter’s eye was glued shut after treatment for a cut.
Olivia Ballard had fallen at home on Boxing Day and suffered an open wound to the bridge of her nose.
Her parents Andy Ballard and Nicola Inwood swiftly took their daughter to Louth’s Urgent Care Centre to be treated, but they say the glue used to seal her cut ran into her eye, sealing it shut.
Olivia’s father Andy said medical staff tried for an hour to re-open Olivia’s eye without success before she was transferred to the specialist eye unit at Lincoln.
He said: “We were really worried upon seeing that Olivia’s eye had been glued shut and after attending the eye specialist at Lincoln, we were told that if it didn’t open within a week, they would have to put Olivia under local anaesthetic to open it.”
Olivia’s parents had to repeatedly soak their daughter’s eye with warm water in the hope that the water-based glue would dissolve.
Andy added: “Olivia’s eye swelled up initially and was very sore. As the week went on our worry increased as we didn’t want Olivia to go under local anaesthetic.
“What worried us further was the fact that we were informed by the eye specialist that if her eye didn’t open, lasting damage could be caused, resulting in the possibility that Olivia could suffer a lazy eye.”
Thankfully Olivia’s eye opened on Monday (January 6), more than a week since the fiasco began and the day she was due to go under local anaesthetic.
Now that Olivia’s eye has opened and there are no signs of permanent damage to her vision, her parents want to highlight this incident, so it doesn’t happen again to another young child.
Andy added: “The thought of Olivia going under local anaesthetic really worried us and we are so relieved that her eye opened. But we now just want people to be aware of what happened so this doesn’t happen again.
Karen Kerman, matron for Urgent Care at County Hospital, Louth, for Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: “We are sorry to hear of the concerns raised. Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to discuss individual cases, however, we always encourage any patient or family member with concerns to contact us directly.
“Skin glue is used routinely on both adults and children to close wounds instead of stitches, where appropriate, as this can be less stressful for the patient and can lead to reduced scarring.
“However, we can reassure patients that the trust undertakes regular reviews of clinical practices and learns from any incidents to ensure we can provide the best possible care for our patients.”