Eye surgeries can be some of the most difficult operations for a patient to undergo. Eye surgeries in children can be especially frightening and nerve-wracking for parents. When the parents of a young child took their 14-month old baby in for surgery to remove a tumor on his eye, they thought it was necessary to save their child’s life. However, after the surgery, they discovered the doctor had removed the child’s healthy eye, leaving the child blind.
Maria Marlene Ayala Quijana and her husband brought their child to the hospital in Ciudad Obregon in Sonora, Mexico. The child had a malignant tumor on his left eye, which had been unresponsive to chemotherapy treatment. The doctors said removal of the tumor, and the child’s left eye, was necessary to save the child’s life.
After the surgery, the child’s parents were shocked to find that the ophthamologist had removed the child’s healthy right eye. According to the surgeon, Dr. Armando Cisneros Espinoza, he removed the right eye because he had detected a tumor on that eye, and decided to remove it. However, the child’s mother doubted the doctor’s explanation. The tumor had not been there the night before, so how could it have suddenly appeared the morning of the surgery.
“I feel helplessness and anger,” said the child’s mother. “Now he doesn’t have his good eye and they can’t put it back together. It’s a tragedy for my son whose life has only just begun.” The clinic offered to look at the eye to determine if there was a tumor; however, the parents wanted to get an independent evaluation.
An independent evaluation by the country’s national health institute eventually determined that the child’s right eye was healthy and free from cancer. According to the country’s social security institute (IMSS), the finding “refutes the account given by Cisneros to the parents to justify his actions.”
The parents filed a criminal complaint against the doctor. They also filed a complaint with the National Commission of Human Rights and the Medical Arbitration Commission for negligently removing the wrong eye, as well as against the IMSS, which runs the clinic. The doctor was suspended, and the case remains under investigation by the clinic, the Attorney General, and Human Rights Commission.
As a result of the doctor removing the wrong eye, the child still has the tumor on his left eye, which was never removed. He will have to go through another surgery to take out the cancerous eye. The parents are considering having the second operation done at a different hospital in Guadalajara or Mexico City. According to an IMSS spokesperson, the child will be provided medical care for life, and will be paid compensation for the loss of his eye.
If your child has been injured as the result of a medical mistake, the Gilman & Bedigian team is fully equipped to handle the complex process of bringing a medical malpractice claim on your behalf. Our staff, including a physician and attorneys with decades of malpractice litigation experience, will focus on getting your family compensation, so you can focus on healing and moving forward.