Minister: Confusion of eye surgery will not happen again

The Department of Health is working to guard against any future occurrence of confusion in ongoing surgeries.

This from Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, following an incident last January which saw a child undergo the wrong eye surgery – apparently due to another patient also due for a similarly named procedure.

Responding to a question in the House of Representatives today, Deyalsingh said the case was now coming to the attention of the patient’s lawyers and there was little he could say.

However, he noted that the procedure was performed at San Fernando General Hospital on January 11, 2021 and when the mistake was discovered, the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) conducted a full investigation.

Four days later, a full clinical disclosure meeting was held with SWRHA officials, the child’s parent, and the child.

Deyalsingh said it was an unfortunate affair, but such events provide an opportunity for health authorities to work on improving processes and procedures.

“The point is that these incidents give us time to pause and review standard operating procedures and the Department of Health is actively working to learn everything we can from this incident to ensure that this incident and similar incidents do not happen again in the future.”

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