A Medical Error

by Sowjanya M

What do you feel when the word ‘Doctor’ pops up in your mind?
What strikes you when you hear ‘Family Doctor’? Do you have a good rapport with your doctor?
I have to use specs with power glasses on regular basis, it was just a few days away from my wedding and I decided to use lenses so that I can be specs-free throughout my wedding. I brought a few pairs of contact lenses, I did practice placing them correctly and removing them. Unfortunately, I could not remove it in the night while going to bed, the left eye one, I tried all the ways but no luck, in this process I hurt my eyes so badly and it was crimson red and I was all panic.
My warm-hearted neighbors who were like family immediately took me to the nearby eye hospital for a check-up and to help me remove contact lenses. The doctor checked and said the lens might have been removed or fallen off while I was trying to remove and there was no contact lens in the eye but I had hurt it so badly that I had to use a couple of eye drops for about 5 days. It was just a week away from my wedding and I had done this. It was horrible, and scary and I was showered with warnings, scolding, and suggestions by near and dear ones. At the same time, I was so grateful for the timely help of my neighbor and the doctor who treated me.
Since this incident, it was this hospital I used to visit for my regular eye check-up and my mom got her cataract surgery done there, it was all successful. I always vouched for this hospital and recommended this to others because of the quality of treatment, hospitality, cleanliness, and fee structure and doctors and staff are very friendly and approachable and they guide and treat patients very we
A few days back we went for cataract surgery for my mother, for other eye. The process went smooth, all the tests were done on time and she was operated on.
As soon as she come out, she was asked to rest for some time and the nurse came and explained how the eye drops should be administered to her, as it happened in the previous surgery. I was all happy that it was done and we could go home in some time.
It was early evening and we are coffee people, so I walked through the reception area to get coffee for us and the receptionist stopped me and informed me that the doctor has asked us to stay back to discuss something before we take a leave, I enquired if we could talk to her the next morning when we visit to remove the bandage on the operated eye but she said the doctor had to talk to us right after her ongoing surgery.
After sipping on the coffee I waited patiently and also could not stop thinking and guessing what could be the topic of discussion or what exactly the doctor wanted to say when I was already informed the surgery was successful. As I was thinking I was called upon and I went to talk to the doctor and I saw a team waiting for me, by looking at their faces my heart started to beat fast of what could have happened that a team of 5 to 7 members were waiting for me and they all seemed concerned and worried and were eager to talk to me.
Then they said that my mother had to go through a small procedure again as they have placed the wrong lens during the surgery and they have to redo it immediately to replace it with the correct lens and any delay in the procedure will not have a successful result.
This was a shocker to me, anger was mounting and swelling up inside me, there was a roller coaster of emotions inside me. I was annoyed to the core, and felt so hurt and betrayed by the doctors and hospital that I look up to, I wanted to sue them, file a complaint, and ensure severe action was taken against them but at that very moment I wanted to stay calm and find ways to fix this and the purpose to be served- my mom should have better vision, able to see clearly and be on her own.
I asked them, how painful would the procedure be, what is extra care and caution I should be taking for her recovery, and the effects of doing the surgery back to back because they would be advising anesthesia again most importantly I asked them if I could really count on them on this.
All the senior doctors gathered there assured me that they will give the best treatment they could give and ensure she would not have any side effects and would have better vision post-surgery and requested me to understand and forgive them for their blunder. I knew this was not the time to talk and argue but to act on the situation and I agreed to another surgery after the gap of an hour.
The surgery was done, the doctors called me up and spoke to me, and this incident was noted in written and tagged along the case file. The doctor and their team ensured we reached home safely and even called us to check if we had reached home.
The next day we visited for bandage removal and vision check. Post this doctor informed the surgery served its purpose and my mom could see really well as excepted.
And I was unhappy with a few of the nursing department people and reception people of the way they spoke on this issue, this was not a mistake but a blunder, and I was irked that they could even laugh at such issues.
This has now become a topic of discussion at my place, all the relatives who visit us and everyone we have discussed this incident with are now brainstorming on this topic of how doctors, nurses, and assistants can avoid such situations.
Will I be able to trust the doctors and the staff of their hospital? Would I recommend this place to others? How could they take things so lightly? It was about a person’s life, anything could have happened but thankfully it ended well.
Maybe, that’s why they say, trust is like a mirror.

About the Author:

Sowjanya M is a software tester by profession and lives in Bengaluru. She is passionate about writing and her penchant for writing has helped voice her opinions by writing blogs on various topics and views on her blog site.

One Comment

  1. O K R Sivagnanam

    Imagine the situation wherein the so-called medical error metamorphosed into a fatal one!
    Trust we repose in a doctor should never resemble a mirror broken into pieces, inadvertently though!
    Service sans care loses its value….