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Doctors perform cataract surgery on patient's wrong eye

18 Comments

Medical staff at Kobe City Medical Center's Central Public Hospital mistakenly operated on the patient's wrong eye while performing cataract surgery.

Hospital officials admitted the error at a news conference on Friday, TV Asahi reported Saturday. A hospital spokesman called it "a simple mistake" on the part of the surgeon

According to officials, in May of this year, a 70-year-old man went to the medical center for a procedure after suffering from cataracts in both eyes. Following the operation, the man told hospital staff that he was having difficulty seeing with his right eye. An investigation showed that the surgeon in charge of the procedure incorrectly switching the lenses of the left and right eyes.

The hospital said the patient has since had corrective surgery and is seeing normally, TV Asahi reported. The hospital said that when the 30-year-old ophthalmologist in charge of the operation was entering the procedure information into his computer, he mistakenly recorded the information corresponding to the lenses for the patient's left and right eyes.

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18 Comments
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Good thing it wasn't reassignment surgery.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

That's why God gave two, one eye to practice on and the other to get it right!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The main mistake is with the hospital, BUT also with the patient... I had both eyes fixed for my cataracts and both times, the doctors and nurses repeatedly asked me to verify the eye that was going to be worked on. I EVEN made sure it was the correct eye. The patient should of told the doctors that there was a mistake... before hand. What's crazy is that Japanese don't know how to question people.... they just think that they know nothing and that the doctors are perfect... Well this is what happens when patients don't question.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Brian Sutton "The main mistake is with the hospital, BUT also with the patient... The patient should of told the doctors that there was a mistake... before hand.... What's crazy is that Japanese don't know how to question people.... Well this is what happens when patients don't question."

But as I understand it, surgery was being performed on both eyes in the same session. And the surgeon used the lens meant for the right eye on the left eye and vice versa. How could the patient, of whatever nationality, be expected to prevent that?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Let me SEE the doctor made a "simple mistake" did I read that right

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In continuance of my previous comment: Not to mention that the information for the lenses was entered into the computer incorrectly so in surgery they would have been labeled wrongly, so it's highly unlikely that anyone, patient or medical personnel could have noticed the mistake?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is an honesty victimless mistake! Every intern makes a misstake or too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing surprises me about Japanese doctors anymore....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not really news. Shocking, but this happens ALL the time. There are stories of the wrong leg getting amputated. Just google it. Something like this probably happens once a month in Japan. Not sure why this made the news. Most of the time it's settled out of court in a settlement.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How could they be so careless though cataract surgery usually involves both the eyes but not at the same time? And, it sounds outrageous for a hospital spokesman to brush it aside as “a simple mistake” of the surgeon!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A hospital spokesman called it “a simple mistake” on the part of the surgeon

A simple mistake? There is something very unnerving about that statement.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thank god for this guy it was only cataract surgery and not another 'wrong limb' amputee like you hear about here from time to time. The casual attitude of the hospital ("simple mistake") is likely why it happened in the first place. Hope they didn't expect the guy to pay for the correction on top of everything else. A Japanese friend of mine had a minor heart attack and had to have surgery and they made a mistake, opening him up again later and admitting to him the mistake may lead to complications in the future (ie. he may die sooner). They still asked him to pay for both surgeries.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well, kudos to the hospital for coming out and admitting it. I wonder how many cases never come to light? One of my students was a doctor involved in a malpractice suit, and although it was pretty serious, I never heard anything about it in the news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can almost see the solicitors queing up at the front door as we speak.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just another simple mistake means there are more serious mistakes out there? Yikes and double Yikes

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I had my right eye done just over a month ago.They simply marked above the right eye with a black marker before the op.Luckily I need both done,so it made no difference,and I had joked about that with the anesthetist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've had two procedures done. One was similar to this case but was a cornea transplant. The other was knee surgery. In both cases, before I went under, the medial staff asked me multiple times which body part would be operated on, and had me even sign statements attesting to that. For the knee surgery, before I was put under, they marked my knee with an "X" and it was the same doctor who was going to do the surger doing the marking.

No excuses here. Sloppy on the doctors and staff part.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can almost see the solicitors queing up at the front door as we speak.

In Japan?! Riiiiiighht.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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