Friday , 3 February 2023

I lost vision in one eye due to medical negligence – Victim recounts

Normally, patients resort to hospitals with the trust and assurance that their health needs will be attended to, but it gets disappointing when the very people you entrust your life to let you down.

Unfortunately Ekow, a pensioner was a victim of this negligence and the result was tragic. He ended up losing sight in one eye after his surgery was improperly done.

In an interview on Joy Prime’s Prime Morning, he said he started experiencing blurred vision in 2021 just when he was about to go on pension, which made him visit the hospital in August of the same year. After diagnosis, he was told that he was diabetic, a condition he was already aware of.

The doctors also informed him that he had cataract in both eyes and hence he was scheduled for surgery in the right eye in September. He was also told that the left eye surgery would be done afterward.

He narrated that his appointment initially scheduled in September was postponed to October and when the time was due, he visited the hospital and the surgery was done.

Ekow was shocked to witness that he was not taken through any procedures before the surgery was done. “As soon as I got there I was expecting them to take me through the necessary procedure but when I went I was just asked to go and lie on the bed and I was operated on the right eye”, he said.

The next day when he visited the hospital again to remove the plaster on the eye, he complained to the doctors that he couldn’t see anything. The doctors then told him that they had prescribed drugs for him to help him regain his sight.

“Since they are the professionals I said okay”, he said.

Ekow recalls having sleepless nights and severe pains thereafter.

He visited the hospital several times but the situation still persisted. He was then referred to another hospital where he was told his eye required injection. The situation only got worse.

He was then referred to another hospital where he received some help to reduce the pain and after diagnosis, the doctor told him that his eye was weak and seriously damaged due to the surgery and injection he previously had.

“In fact, I nearly wept over there because I was disappointed,” he recalled. It was there that he also found out that certain lab tests required ahead of his eye surgery were not done at all at the first hospital.

“It was the lady who made me aware of certain things, when she said she wanted to do the surgery for the second eye she gave me a form to the lab for me to have some lab tests,” he said.

He continued, “So when I brought the results of the test, she said it wasn’t good for me to have it done. Then I said okay, so the first one they should’ve done some lab tests”.

Ekow currently has just an eye for vision.

In the same interview, Kwame Brobbey Appiah, Executive Secretary of Advocacy for Medical Malpractice Victims, added that the government has to focus on investing in the healthcare sector because its support is very minimal.

He stated that most of these public hospitals lack a lot of materials and equipment such as wheelchairs, ambulances that will aid in the smooth delivery of services.

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