Belfast Telegraph

Boy’s eye glued shut by doctor as treatment for wound goes awry

Sam Caldwell with his mother Kerri
Sam Caldwell with his mother Kerri

By Catherine Lynagh

The mother of a toddler has told how a doctor at the Ulster Hospital accidentally glued her son’s eye shut.

Kerri Caldwell said she is in disbelief that her three-year-old son Sam cannot open his right eye after an accident and emergency doctor carried out a routine procedure this week.

Sam was taken to A&E after an accident at his Newtownards home left him with a cut above his eye. When she arrived Mrs Caldwell was told the best way to close the wound on his eyelid was to glue the cut.

She said: “Sam was doing OK when we got there. I had managed to calm him down and by the time the doctor came to him he was being very good. The doctor was about to administer the glue.

“After about 20 minutes the doctor told Sam to open his eyes — but he couldn’t. His right eye was completely glued shut. She had put too much on his lid and it had slid around his eye.”

The little boy became very upset and began kicking his legs and screaming because he couldn’t open his eye.

Mrs Caldwell said: “No-one came near us. Sam was getting more and more upset, crying and screaming, but no-one in the hospital came back to us,” she said.

A consultant then told Sam’s mother the glue would have to wear off. “He told me it would take a minimum of four days and said ‘he’ll get used to it’,” Mrs Caldwell said.

“The whole experience has left both Sam and I very upset. He is scared to open his other eye. I am annoyed that this happened, he went in with a minor cut and came out with a glued eye.”

A hospital spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, it is a well-recognised complication that the glue can leak before it dries. In most cases lukewarm water will loosen the eyelashes, but otherwise this will occur naturally within one to three days.”

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