A 14-month-old baby is blind after a doctor allegedly removed the wrong eye during surgery last Friday at a hospital in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora.
The parents of Fernando Jonathan Valdez Ayala have accused ophthalmologist Dr. Armando Cisneros Espinoza and the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) of negligence for removing the baby’s right eye, which they say was healthy.
The left eye was to have been removed due to a malignant tumor that had been treated unsuccessfully with chemotherapy. Following the surgery, Cisneros reportedly told the family he had removed the right eye after he detected a tumor there, too, and felt it was necessary in order to save the child’s life.
But the child’s mother, María Marlene Ayala Quijano, questioned how a tumor that wasn’t there the night before could have suddenly appeared the following morning.
“I feel helplessness and anger,” said Ayala, who is demanding the hospital pay lifetime compensation for leaving her son disabled. “Now he doesn’t have his [good] eye and they can’t put it back; it’s a tragedy for my son whose life has only just begun.”
The parents have filed a criminal complaint against the ophthalmologist.
The hospital, an IMSS specialties clinic, said the case was under investigation by IMSS officials.
IMSS led the way among public institutions last year for complaints about human rights violations with 1,542 cases filed with the National Human Rights Commission, although the number was higher in both 2012 — a total of 1,876 — and 2013.
Radio Fórmula reported in May that those complaints ranged from the failure to provide adequate medical attention to being responsible for the deaths of patients.