Sinus Surgery Gone Wrong Settlement: $1 Million
2011 Medical Malpractice Trial Report
Medical negligence: Sinus surgical error results in loss of vision in one eye
On 5/27/09, the plaintiff went to the defendant ENT for removal of a sinus cyst. The defendant began the procedure by dissecting the maxillary sinus wall. He then went to what he identified as the cyst wall and he proceeded to remove what he thought was the cyst. The defendant noticed that what he was removing was fat but decided that the cyst was probably a fatty tumor. In reality, the defendant had proceeded into the orbit of the eye and began to remove fat and tissue from the orbit of the eye. Not long after the defendant began removing the fat and tissue, the plaintiff’s blood pressure began to rise significantly, she began to bleed extensively and the defendant noted that the plaintiff’s pupil had become fixed and dilated. At this point in time, the defendant realized he had entered the orbit of the eye and he stopped the procedure. He packed the eye to stop the bleeding but the bleeding continued and a hematoma developed.
Post-operatively, the nursing staff noted that the plaintiff was unable to open her eye and that her left pupil was significantly larger than her right. On testing, the plaintiff indicated she could not see much out of her left eye and the staff noted that she had a continued bleed in her eye. At this point, the plaintiff was transferred to Mass Eye and Ear in Boston by ambulance. Upon arrival at MEEI, a CT scan showed that the plaintiff had suffered a hole in the wall of the eye and damage to the optic nerve. It was further determined that her optic nerve had been transected and that the plaintiff had almost no vision in the left eye and no perception of light. Unfortunately, there was no way to repair the transaction and the plaintiff was told that the vision deficit was permanent.
The plaintiff was prepared to offer expert medical testimony that the defendant was negligent in his performance of the plaintiff’s sinus surgery by entering the orbit of the eye. Further, the plaintiff was expected to show that the plaintiff had no prior eye problems and the only possible cause of the plaintiff’s injury was the defendant’s negligence.
The case settled for the defendant’s policy limits of 1,000,000. (Barnstable Superior Court)
Lubin & Meyer represented the plaintiff in this medical malpractice lawsuit.
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