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Veteran to sue Albuquerque VA for botched eye surgery

After a surgery at the Albuquerque VA left him with an eye infection, vision impairment and permanent scarring, a veteran who served in the Tuskegee Airmen says he wasn't offered a cent by the hospital.

On Dec. 14, 2011, the veteran went in for cataract surgery. He says that during surgery, a small tube, called a cannula, ejected from the syringe and landed in the veteran's eye. He now faces the possibility of permanent blindness in his right eye. The veteran claims the VA operated outside the accepted standard of care during his surgery and plans to sue them for the surgical error.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, however, is not on his side. They have argued that the Albuquerque VA did in fact follow proper protocol during his cataract surgery. They added that the man had to sign a consent form before surgery to show that he was aware of the possible risks of the operation.

Like many people in New Mexico who have been injured during hospital care, this man said he trusted his doctor to perform the surgery correctly. Unfortunately, surgical errors still happen - and some of them are life-changing for the affected patient. Some cases lead to continued care to correct an error, and some errors leave permanent effects.

Fortunately, there are ways that patients who have been treated negligently can hold a hospital or doctor accountable for failing to provide adequate care. Through a medical malpractice lawsuit, an injured patient can seek compensation that can help pay for medical expenses and other related costs. For those considering a medical malpractice claim, it may be helpful to speak with an experienced attorney.

Source: Associated Press, "Tuskegee airman blames VA for botched eye surgery," Nov. 11, 2012

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