Healthcare News & Insights

Doc’s mistake explodes patient’s eye

We can all agree: Routine cataract surgery shouldn’t begin with an eye being burst from within. The cost in this case: $925k and a patient’s vision. 

But that’s exactly what happened when Jose Goncalves of Hartford, Connecticut went to the nearby West Haven Veterans Administration hospital for the procedure.

Goncalves’ lawyer said that during the procedure, a third-year resident accidentally placed a needle with anesthetic in Goncalves’ eyeball, instead of behind it. Then she injected so much of the liquid so quickly that the eyeball exploded from the pressure. Other team members immediately recognized the problem but it happened too quickly to fix Goncalves’ eye.

Goncalves, who worked as a roofer, now has poor depth perception, making him unable to work at his old job — he’s since been employed in the maintenance department at a local college. He also suffered months of pain, a drooping eyelid and the iris in the affected eye is missing.

The VA agreed to settle Goncalves’ planned lawsuit for $925k.

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