Faulty earplugs led to man needing surgery

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Faulty earplugs led to man needing surgery

14th November 2011

A man who required surgery after a silicone earplug disintegrated in his ear has appealed for anyone who may have suffered a similar ordeal to come forward.

Anya Rupal, a personal injury expert at Fentons Solicitors LLP, representing the man, said: “When my client used his earplugs he naturally expected their removal to be easy and pain-free. He certainly didn’t expect to need surgery to remove bits of silicone from his ear.”

When the 36 year-old Tooting man - who had bought the ‘Soft Silicone Earplugs’ from a major high street pharmaceutical chain - came to remove them from his ears after a night’s sleep, he discovered the right earplug had disintegrated and silicone residue had become lodged in his ear.

After an hour of unsuccessful and painful A&E treatment at St George’s Hospital, Tooting - by which time his inner ear had filled with blood - the victim was told he would need to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist as his body temperature had caused the trapped ear plug detritus to disintegrate further.

“By the time of his ENT appointment four days later, my client was finding it difficult to hear through his right ear,” said Anya. “His hearing was only restored after his ear had been ‘vacuumed,’ and the offending residue scraped out - an incredibly unpleasant experience, all because he simply wanted a decent night’s sleep.”

After writing a letter of complaint to the retailer, describing his ordeal, the man received a gift voucher in return with an assurance that following an investigation, the product had been found to be without fault.

“The company’s response has been dismissive and a proper investigation needs to get to the bottom of why such a widely available everyday product – which was being used in exactly the manner prescribed by the instructions – should have disintegrated inside my client’s ear,” said Anya. “My client now hopes anyone who may have endured a similar experience will come forward with further information and help in his fight for justice.”

Can you help?

If you have suffered a similar experience or know of anyone else who may have suffered a comparable ordeal after using silicone earplugs, please call Anya Rupal on 0207 092 2838 or e-mail anya.rupal@fentons.co.uk.