Pennsylvania victim blind after doctors operate on wrong eye

At the end of the day, doctors are humans and as such are susceptible to error just like the rest of us. However, hospitals and clinics in Pennsylvania work really hard to put measures in place that combat such errors. Sometimes infections or complications occur in a medical setting regardless of meticulous planning. Other times, “never” events still happen. A “never” event is the unthinkable, a mistake so avoidable that its occurrence can only be explained by negligence.

According to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, to date, there have been 20 of these “never” events in Pennsylvania in 2012. One woman recounts the complications that ensued after she became a victim of a medical “never” event. The woman’s vision out of her left eye was deteriorating because of complications from glaucoma. She was having a procedure to alleviate pressure in her eye left eye.

The doctors operated on her right eye, the wrong eye. After the procedure, her right eye, which was previous in fair health, also suffered complications and now she is legally blind. The victim says, “I was in good health and did everything myself. Now I have to just sit and wait and see what happens to me.” The woman is no longer able to live on her own, or care for herself as the mistake nearly robbed her of her vision.

It is reasonable for a patient to expect that a procedure will improve their condition. When negligence leads to a worsened condition, the patient could be a victim of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice cases can be complex, but with a fierce legal advocate, victims could stand to recoup financially as compensation for the negligence enacted against them.

Source: Philly.com, “Pennsylvania hospitals adopt safeguards against preventable surgical errors,” Tom Avril, Nov. 13, 2012



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