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Fernando Jonathan Valdez Ayala Fernando: left blind by operation.

Tests reveal doctor removed wrong eye

Eye removed during surgery was healthy and free of cancer, says lab report

Pathology tests have revealed that a doctor removed the wrong eye from a 14-month-old patient at a hospital in Sonora last Friday, leaving the youngster blind.

A national health institute (IMS) laboratory report says the eye removed by ophthalmologist Armando Cisneros Espinoza was completely healthy and free of any signs of cancer.

The operation on Fernando Jonathan Valdez Ayala at an IMSS clinic in Ciudad Obregón was intended to remove his cancerous left eye: chemotherapy sessions had failed to treat a malignant tumor. But when the operation was finished, Cisneros told the child’s parents had had found a much larger tumor in the baby’s other eye and had removed it instead, fearing for the baby’s life.

This contradicted studies conducted since the child was six months old that had found cancer in the other eye.

Late yesterday IMSS said in a statement it “refutes the account given by Cisneros to the parents to justify his actions” and that the doctor’s decision to remove the right eye was incorrect.

Cisneros has been suspended and investigations are now under way by IMSS, the Attorney General and the National Human Rights Commission.

Meanwhile, the baby still has a cancerous eye that must be removed and doctors have warned that if it isn’t removed soon the baby could die. IMSS spokesman Jaime Zaldívar said cancer in young children is more aggressive than in adults because their cells are less developed. On top of that, the cancer in Fernando’s case is well advanced, he said in an interview this morning.

But parents Fernando Valdez and Marlene Ayala (incorrectly referred to as Melisa in previous reports) are not keen on another operation right away. “I’m not saying it shouldn’t be removed,” she said, rather that it shouldn’t be done so soon after the first operation.

She said IMSS has offered the option of having the second operation done in Guadalajara or Mexico City.

Zaldívar said the child will be provided medical care for the rest of his life and that compensation will be paid for the loss of the eye.

Source: La Unión (sp), Milenio (sp)

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