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under medicated nightmare

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state?undefinedWhat is the name of your state? Az. Feb. 2003 my husband had a routine cataract surgery which turned into a nightmare. He has been a chronic pain patient for several years so takes high doses of pain medication which makes his tollerance very high to begin with. As the nurse prepared him with 10 mgs. of valium before surgery he knew he was not ready and couldn't get relaxed. they assured him he'd be ok and proceeded. This surgery is preformed with the patient awake with a local, usually drops, antesthetic. As the doctor cut into the eye my husband felt so much pain that he started fighting them to get off the table. As a consequence the doctor dropped the lens into the back of the eye and damage was done in trying to retrieve it. They held him down to close the eye back up which caused a severe anxiety disorder that he is now medicated for daily. He also has to go to therapy to try and overcome and cope with the emotional break downs he may suffer with for the rest of his life. Emergency surgery 2 days after the first one by a retinal specialist who cleaned out the debris, repairing what he could was followed with another surgery 2 mo. later to stop the hemmoraging in his eye. Of course they knocked him out after the first experience and his third surgery 6 months ago was a cornea transplant because of all the scarring to his cornea after 2 infections set in his very fragile eye. We consulted several attorneys who would not take on the medical field. 2 attorneys took our records and looked them over, one had them for almost a year then decided to quit malpractice cases, the other said it's not his expertise. We now have one month left to file suit and wonder if a civil suit is possible and can we do it ourselves. My husband and I feel strongly about pursuing this issue. If the first doctor would have made sure he was medicated properly to begin with this on going nightmare wouldn't be happening.How can a docter be so irresponsible by treating everyone the same and not considering the special needs of individuals. It's barbaric what happened to him...They could have taken him accross the street to the hospital and knocked him out, in fact they should have had someone right there to do it in such cases of emergency in my opinion.


Senior Member
I sincerely doubt there is a valid claim of professional negligence even though this is quite the horror story.

A physician can not provide more sedation/anesthesia than for which his practice is allowed. This was an in-office procedure and it is possible that the physician can not provide a deeper sedation/anesthesia than was provided.

Your husband's reaction (fighting) is the proximal cause of the damage done to his eye. The physician and his staff were limited as to what actions could be taken, ie. holding him down until the physician could withdraw the instruments and/or administer additional medication.

I believe it would be a most difficult task to prove that any act of negligence by the physician resulted in any damage or that any act by the physician had the foreseeable damages suffered by your husband. With only one month of the statute of limitations remaining and without the statute's being tolled (to allow further time), there is probably not an attorney willing to take on the case, even for review.

Much of what you describe as damages appears to be an attempt to pad any potential award and if you contact an attorney, it would probably be a good idea to only present your concerns about damages to the eye that are directly related to the event that you consider to be negligent.

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In my state, Georgia, one cannot file a medical malpractice claim (in state court) without an attached affidavit from a physician (licensed to practice in the state ) who states that in his/her opinion, the physician did malpractice. Often we suggest that the clients get this from a physician before we take the case. The simple reason is, that, no physician agrees that it is malpractice, then it will be a hard case and probably not a winner. Another reason is that we are not physicians, so that is out of our area of expertise. We want to know what another person in that field thinks. So, I suggest that you invest some money in the same course of action. Go to two or three physicians, have them look at your husband's records and eye, and see if they will put it in writing that there was malpractice. Of course, pick people who specialize in that area. A note of caution, just their verbal agreement is not enough. If any physician will write down why they think it was malpractice, and why it violated the standard of care, then take that to an attorney.


Junior Member
GaAtty, I really wish I had known about this site a year ago so that I had some time left to pursue this issue. Thank you for that very sound advice as I think that would be a strong help. The retinal specialist who repaired what damage he could after the initial surgery was directly associated with the cataract clinic and though he said the damage was caused by that surgery I doubt he would have fingered his colleague. Lesson in point, seek an independent doctor in time of crisis. There again when caught in such a horrifying and painful experience thoughts are only on seeking relief, we never contemplated that we may want to do something about it later. It's just so unfortunate that anyone who falls outside of the normal can be victimized like this. It's not right and needs to be stopped. We would pursue this issue even without a lawsuit but how in the world could we go about doing that? That is why we wondered if we could file a civil suit against this clinic, if it is possible and could be of any use toward stopping the practice of running people in and out of there like cattle. We have heard several other peoples stories of complications and attempted repairs by this clinic"s associated specialists with less than good results. Outrageous.

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