Optometrist fails boy with brain tumour who went completely blind in one eye

An optometrist has apologised for inadequate care of a six-year-old boy who was found to have a brain tumour and improvements are being made at the practice where he worked.

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Meenal Duggal yesterday released a report finding the optometrist in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights for providing inadequate care to the boy.

The boy ultimately underwent surgery to remove the brain tumour. Following surgery, it was confirmed he was completely blind in his right eye and had 1/30 acuity in his left eye.

The optometrist is not currently practising.

Ms Duggal has made recommendation to the optometry practice, including better education of clinical staff, a review of processes and an audit of referrals.

The optometrist had recorded the boy's visit as a routine one and did not appropriately document symptoms, family ocular history, general health or medications.

The boy was unable to identify letters on the chart at six metres from his right eye and the performance of his left eye rated six out of 10.

The optometrist diagnosed the boy with amblyopia and possible right eye exotropia, and prescribed glasses.

He did not perform appropriate diagnostic tests to rule out pathology or refer the boy for further testing, and no follow up or further investigation was noted. The boy was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Ms Duggal said the optometrist did not take appropriate steps to test the right eye and there were no referrals, further investigations or treatment plan.

She also found the optometrist failed to appropriately document the patient history and reason or reasons for the boy's first consultation.

The optometry practice was found vicariously liable for the inadequate care provided by the optometrist.

The practice didn't have policies or procedures in place relating to staffing levels when unexpected leave was required, and the standard of consultation form used at the time was found to be wanting.




A tent over the fridge and going to the gym - Kiwis' strange ideas about how to beat the humidity

Kiwis have come up with some quirky ways to deal with the stifling humidity gripping much of the country, from putting a tent over the fridge to a seemingly illogical idea of going to the gym.

While it's been a warm 24 hours across New Zealand, many centres woke up to humidity levels in the high nineties yesterday.

Tauranga had 98 per cent humidity and Gisborne, New Plymouth and Christchurch, 95 per cent.

People 1 NEWS spoke to shared their solutions to the stickiness.

"We've already got the aircon on full-time. We leave it on even when we leave the house," one man said.

Another man said: "Go up to the fridge, put a tent up behind you, keep the cold in."

Exercising might not be most people's idea of staying cool, but one man suggested, "go to the gym" because it's air conditioned.

Downpours at the weekend came from a slow moving tropical rain front and Metservice meteorologist Georgina Griffiths says it's made New Zealand subtropical.

"We've dragged really humid air down from south of the Cook Islands, so it's like we're in the Cook Islands. We're just subtropical all the way," she said.

And if you feel like you're melting in the stifling conditions, the bad news is the humidity is set to continue.

"I don't think there's any short term relief in the mugginess. We're going to see this humidity linger in the upper North Island and much of New Zealand right through until the end of the weekend," Ms Griffiths said.

It means you'll have to seek out the cool spots a little while longer.

The tropical air is proving a headache for many of us. Source: 1 NEWS


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Have you seen Ford? Fears for missing 10-year-old Auckland boy

A search is underway for a 10-year-old Auckland boy who's been missing since early Monday afternoon.

Police say Ford Storm Cullen was last seen around 1.30pm at the Mangere Town Centre.

Police believe he may be in the South Auckland area although he also has family connections in West Auckland.

Police say Ford is known to use the train network and may also be in possession of a scooter.

Inspector Brett Batty says urges to boy, or anyone who has seen or had contact with him to call Waitakere Crime Squad on 09 837 9511.

Ford Storm Cullen
Ford Storm Cullen. Source: NZ Police