Bahrain: Doctor Jailed As Patient Loses Eyesight After Medical Error

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An ophthalmologist was sentenced to two months in jail after being convicted of committing a medical error that caused complete loss of vision to a female patient three years ago.

The doctor was found guilty of causing permanent disability to the victim and ordered him to pay BD50 to suspend the execution of the sentence. According to the statements, the victim was undergoing cataract surgery at the doctor’s centre.

“The son said the procedure was unusually lengthy and the doctor came out of the operation room informing them that some complications occurred and the patient needs to be taken to a retinal therapy specialist in Kuwait.”

Court files showed that the son rushed his mum to the said doctor, as she suffered severe bleeding in the eye.

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In Kuwait, the victim and her son were informed that the doctor here had committed a serious medical error that completely damaged the patient’s retina and caused complete loss of vision in her eye.

The son informed the prosecutors that his mother underwent two urgent surgeries in Kuwait that cost over BD6,100 (KWD5,000).

The woman regained 20% of her vision after the second surgery. The son claimed that the defendant kicked him out of the centre when he demanded him to compensate for the cost of the surgeries.

The doctor, who was summoned after the son lodged a complaint against him, claimed during the interrogation that he had decided to perform the surgery after the same procedure was successfully done to the victim’s other eye, adding that he has been practicing ophthalmology in the Kingdom for around 40 years.

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He told the interrogators that some complications occurred during the surgery because of “medical issues”.

The doctor also said he advised the patients’ relatives to take her to a specialist in Kuwait. The doctor added that he rejected the relatives’ demands of paying them the cost of the surgeries that were done in Kuwait.

A report issued by the Disciplinary Committee in the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) proved that the loss of vision was caused by a medical error committed by the doctor, who the authority said had violated medical norms in dealing with complications, which led to damaging the retina and causing her blindness.