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Hospital faces potential lawsuit after wrong site surgery

It is devastating to find out that a doctor makes a mistake when performing a surgical procedure. When patients seek medical treatment, they trust the doctors and nurses to provide a certain level of care. But despite safety procedures to protect against surgical errors, mistakes still happen.

The story of a little boy made national news after it was learned that he received surgery on the wrong eye. His parents, shocked by the mistake, plan on filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Their little boy may suffer permanent damage to his vision because of the wrong site surgery.

Though the latest report was that the boy's vision was alright, his mother is concerned that a problem could develop in the next few weeks. His one good eye prior surgery could be affected by the unnecessary surgery.

The boy suffered from a lazy right eye and had been seeing an eye doctor for two years before going in for a surgery that would correct his lazy eye. The surgeon was the doctor who the little boy had been seeing; she was very familiar with his condition. But in the operating room, the surgeon realized that she had been operating on the wrong eye.

When she realized her mistake, she then set to work on the eye that needed the operation. It was not until after the surgery that the boy's parents were told of the error.

The hospital is working to determine how the mistake was made and to further develop safety procedures to prevent this kind of mistake from happening again.

New safety protocol does little to comfort the little boy and his parents who are already dealing with the results of a wrong site surgery. A medical malpractice claim would help the parents with financial challenges that may arise because of the error such as unanticipated medical costs and treatment.

Source: CNN online, "Patients, beware of wrong-side surgeries," Sabriya Rice, 28 April 2011

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