Many people do not typically associate medical malpractice with their eye doctor. For most patients, a visit to the optometrist is simply a routine matter. But the eyes are extremely delicate organs subject to a number of serious health conditions. So when an optometrist or ophthalmologist undertakes the treatment of a patient’s damaged eyes, they are held to the same standards of care as any other Florida physician.
Three Doctors Allegedly Missed Serious Eye Infection
Obviously, this also means an eye doctor can be sued for malpractice when a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis causes harm to a patient. For example, a man in Orange County, Florida, recently filed a medical malpractice claim against three eye doctors (and their associated practices) for their failure to properly treat a traumatic injury to his right eye. The lawsuit, which is still in its early stages, seeks unspecified damages “in excess of” $15,000.
According to the plaintiff’s complaint, which he filed in Orange County Circuit Court on March 19, he sought treatment for his eye injury from the first doctor, an ophthalmologist, in April 2016. The first doctor diagnosed the plaintiff with a “corneal abrasion,” i.e. a scratch to the surface of the eye. The plaintiff said he continued to receive treatment from the first doctor until June 2016, during which time his “condition had continued to deteriorate.”
Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff saw the second doctor. This time the plaintiff was diagnosed with iritis and synechia, essentially an inflammation of his iris that caused it to attach to the cornea itself. As a result of this condition, the plaintiff said he suffered from “blurred vision, pain, redness and light sensitivity.”
The second doctor then referred the plaintiff to the third doctor. This final doctor advised the plaintiff to undergo laser surgery to treat a “traumatic cataract” in the affected eye. By this point, the plaintiff said he had “no light perception in his right eye.”
The surgery proved unsuccessful and the third doctor recommended another procedure. The plaintiff was then referred to a retina specialist, who told the plaintiff he had been suffering from a “very bad eye infection” this entire time and was now effectively blind in his right eye. From this diagnosis, the plaintiff said, he learned that the previous three doctors failed to properly diagnose and treat his eye infection, thereby allowing the condition to progress to the point where his right eye had to be removed altogether.
The plaintiff alleged all three doctors committed negligence under Florida law by, among other things, failing to perform proper diagnostic procedures that would have discovered the eye infection earlier. The plaintiff also charged the doctors with negligently performing what turned out to be “unwarranted laser procedures.” As noted above, the plaintiff seeks unspecified damages to cover his pain and suffering, permanent disability and disfigurement, loss of earnings, and medical costs, among other injuries.
Contact a Miami Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
Too many Florida medical malpractice cases are the result of doctors who fail to properly diagnose a patient’s condition, thereby leading to potentially catastrophic delays in treatment. If you or a loved one have found yourself in such a situation, the Miami medical malpractice lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP can help. We assess your case and help you understand your legal rights. To learn more, call our office at (305) 371-2692 or visit us online to schedule a consultation.